An Open Letter to Jennifer Young

Jennifer Young, mother of Jermaine McBean, hold a photo of her son of when he received a computer-engineering degree, in Oakland Park, Fla., March 18, 2015. Witnesses say McBean ignored police officers shouting for him to drop his weapon as he carried an unloaded air rifle propped on his shoulders, and then was shot and killed, but newly obtained photographic evidence shows that he was wearing ear buds when he was shot, suggesting that he was listening to music and did not hear the officers. The earphones somehow wound up in the dead man?s pocket, records show. (Angel Valentin/The New York Times)
Jennifer Young holding picture of son, Jermaine McBean (Angel Valentin/The New York Times)

I can’t even begin to imagine the unsurmountable pain you are enduring right now. I am grieving for you, your son and your family although we have never met. I am grieving for you because as a mother your son died three years ago and you have not gotten Justice yet. I am grieving for you because Broward County has failed your son. This country has failed your son.

Your son was murdered in cold blood on July 31st, 2013. The City of Broward is painting your son as man that was mentally unfit. Broward County is painting him as a man that was intentionally reckless due to being bipolar. The facts are that your son was an IT professional with two college degrees, no criminal record and no history of violence. Do not let Broward taint you and let you think they have a license to kill anyone who has a mental health condition.

The police officer who shot your son wants you to believe that Jermaine McBean turned and pointed his unloaded air rifle at him and that he feared his life when he fired three shots that ultimately killed your son. The FACTS prove that with the direction the bullets entered his body it would have been impossible for  Jermaine to have point his air rifle the way they said he did. The police officer who shot your son wants you to believe that your son heard all his commands and refused to comply. The FACTS prove that he had headphones in when he died.

Jermaine McBean posing with his grandmother after his graduation from Pace University

I want to echo the words of your son, Jermaine McBean’s brother, “Mistakes happen. Accidents happen. But cover-ups are planned.”

Jennifer, what I want you to know is that you are not alone. You have been fighting endlessly to uncover the truth since day one. I want you to know that those efforts have not fallen on deaf ears. Peraza can fall asleep at night knowing he killed an innocent man. The two deputies that were with Peraza, as he murdered your son, can continue their life as normal knowing they helped planned a cover-up of how your son died. But, as his mother, you cannot. You are left to pick up the pieces from people have posthumously put your son on trial for his own death.

Long after the media packs up and moves on to the next story this will still be your reality. As a citizen of Broward County this is my reality. I cannot and will not let this go.

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Andrew McBean and Activists of Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward on Wednesday, on the same stage that Officer Peraza was awarded by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for killing Jermaine McBean

Three years ago you joined a group that is growing exponentially in America, a group of mothers who have lost their children at the hands of police brutality. Unlike most groups where you choose to sign up, this one comes with an automatic membership as soon as the tragic death happens. You join a group of mothers where police departments around the nation will work relentlessly to convince that these assassinations are justified instead of truthfully admitting to their own faults and wrongdoings.

They want to convince you that this is done and to move on with your life but I want to let you know that your son’;s death is not in vain. Jermaine Died, Police Lied. That fact will not be ignored. You will not be ignored.

In Solidarity,

Tifanny Burks

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