Isn’t It Time?
Isn’t it time? is a commentary on the seemingly endless extra-judiciary killings of BIPOC men and boys over the last decade. In a short video last year, 3 Generations’ Founder Jane Wells asked the question isn’t it time we called these killings what they are? A genocide? Our goal has been to remember those who were killed as who they were — people simply living their lives. We invite discussion, feedback and criticism as we honor those who have been lost.
Daunte Wright, 20
April 11th, 2021
Daunte Wright was a loving father to 2 year old Daunte Wright Jr. His son was born while he was in high school where Daunte was popular and gregarious. He was voted class clown freshman year and was known for having a good left hand shot while playing on the JV basketball team. He was very close with his large family of brothers, sisters, and cousins. On the fourth of July he especially loved shooting off Roman candles with his older cousin Mario.
Daunte’s mother spoke with him on how to behave when being pulled over by police so as to protect his safety; to which he would always say, ‘Man, why we gotta do all that just for people not to kill us?’
Keith Lamont Scott, 43
Sept 20, 2016
North Carolina police claimed to see Keith Lamont Scott rolling what they believed to be a marajuana “blunt” in his truck. They also claimed to later see him holding up a gun, which they used as probable cause to attempt to arrest him for the drug violation. Keith was killed while backing away from the officers with his hands at his sides.
Keith Lamont Scott lived a quiet life as a loving husband and father to 7 kids. His neighbors knew him by his unchanging daily routine–which included waiting for his son’s school bus each day in his truck in a shady part of the apartment parking lot. An old motorcycle accident had left him walking with a cane and with permanent brain damage that affected his ability to communicate. Keith had a criminal record but to his mother, wife, and children he was defined by his dedication to his family.
George Floyd, 46
May 25th, 2020
George Floyd grew up in Houston’s famous Third Ward in the Cuney Homes public housing. By high school he was well known by the locals as a talented basketball and football player; his friends called him a “gentle giant”. George was the first one of his siblings to go to college on a football scholarship, however, he wasn’t able to graduate. After returning home he started performing as a rapper. While his music earned him the deep respect of his community, this time was trying for George; resulting in multiple arrests and years in jail. After serving out his last sentence, George was determined to improve his life and give back to his community. He joined the Christian church and ministry Resurrection Houston where he mentored young men and spoke out against gun violence on social media. In 2019 he moved to Minneapolis to try to further rebuild his life and find work. Over the next year George struggled with drug addiction but he remained committed to supporting himself. His last nickname was “Big Floyd,” which his friend Maurice Lester Hall thought was fitting because George “always thought he was legendary.”
Justice would be George Floyd still alive. We appreciate the accountability today, but we know we must continue the work.
Eric Garner, 43
July 17th, 2014
Eric Garner, or “Big E” as he was known to his friends, was described by his community as a “neighborhood peacemaker” and a generous, congenial person. For years he worked at the New York City Dept. of Parks and Recreation as a horticulturist but had to quit prematurely due to health problems. After the loss of his job, he became a more present figure in his community and in the lives of his six children and three grandchildren. His youngest child–Legacy Garner–was 3 months old at the time of his death. According to Legacy’s mother Eric, “was so proud of his daughter — she’s his miracle.” Eric’s oldest daughter Erica Garner became an outspoken activist against police brutality after her father’s death.
Adam Toledo, 13
March 29th, 2021
Adam Toledo’s cousin Jael Perez said at his funeral, “Adam’s life was cut down short. Adam would have done great things. I wish Adam would [have grown] old with me… Our kids would have been best friends. Yes, you may be gone, but you will be forever in our hearts.”
His older brother Marco Toledo said that Adam “wasn’t a bad kid like everyone says he was… No matter what, we all have our flaws and mistakes we have made as kids and still do till this day. No matter what people say, kids will be kids and will make mistakes, but will learn from them — something my little brother didn’t get the chance to do.”
Ahmaud Marquez Arbery, 25
Feb 23rd, 2020
At 25 years old Ahmaud Arbery had finally reached a crossroads; he had enrolled at South Georgia Technical College, preparing to become an electrician just like his uncles. School wouldn’t start until next fall, however, so in the meantime “Maud” or “Quez” was taking a break while working at his father’s car wash and landscaping business. Ahmaud was emerging from the toughest years of his life. After his high school dreams of going into pro football didn’t pan out, he lost direction and ran into some legal troubles. However, these times never defined Ahmaud to the people in his life, who speak of a person with, “a seemingly bottomless reservoir of kindness”. His lifelong friend and former teammate Demetrius Frazier remembers him by his happier high school days, “just two friends playing video games, shooting hoops, wolfing down peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” Acknowledging the struggles Ahmaud had in his early 20’s, Demetrius spoke of Ahmaud at 25 as, “ just ready to put himself in a position to be where he wanted to be in life…That’s what they took from him.”
Kimani Gray, 16
March 9th, 2013
Kimani Gray was the son of Carol Gray, a Jamaican immigrant. In childhood he was always remembered by Carol as “a very loving, playful, funny guy”. Their family of 7 went through a lot in Kimani’s teenage years; a year in the shelter system after Carol left his father, and the sudden death of Kimani’s beloved older brother. After his brother’s death, Kimani lost a protector and a provider. He began to act out and struggle in school, where he once excelled. Carol hoped that once they moved into a new apartment, where he could finally have his own room, he would settle down and begin to heal. He only got to live there for a few days. Kimani was only a 16 year old boy. He was just a child.
Tamir Rice, 12
Nov 22nd, 2014
Tamir Rice was unusually athletically gifted for his age. He played basketball with high schoolers, could throw a football with a tight spiral, swim in the deep end of the pool, and hold his own on a soccer field. His mother Samaria Rice said Tamir didn’t really look up to professional athletes, because “he thought he could beat them.” Though he could run with the older kids in baseball, he would get spooked watching scary movies with his 16-year-old brother; and crawled into bed with his mother at night. At 12 Tamir still loved to watch Curious George cartoons, play Batman video games, and make arts and crafts for his family.
Amadou Diallo, 23
Feb 4th, 1999
Amadou Diallo was an immigrant from Guinea. While he was born in Libera, and grew up in cities all over the world, his family was part of the historic Fulbe trading family in Guinea and the Fulani ethnic group. As a young man he followed relatives who had already immigrated from his home town of Lelouma to New York City. In New York he worked for 2 and a half years as a street peddler; selling socks, gloves and videos on 14th Street in Manhattan. According to his friends he sent much of the money he earned to his parents back home. Those who knew and loved him described Amadou as “as a shy, hard-working man with a ready smile, a devout Muslim who did not smoke or drink.”
His friend Demba Sanyang said in response to the tragedy, ”We have a very undemocratic society back home, and then we come here. We don’t expect to be killed by law enforcement officers.”
Trayvon Martin, 17
Feb 26th, 2012
While playing football as a kid Trayvon Martin had hoped to someday go pro but in high school he became interested in a career in aviation instead. As a teenager he attended specialized camps and additional day classes in Aerospace Technology, hoping one day to apply to Florida A&M and University of Miami. Trayvon loved to play sports video games, ride dirt bikes, and do odd jobs around the neighborhood in his free time. When he was nine years old, in an incredible act of heroism, he saved his injured fathers life by pulling him out of their burning apartment.
His family and teachers remember him as a kind but shy kid who always had his hoodie on and his headphones in, listening to music.
John Crawford III, 22
Aug 5th, 2014
John Crawford III was born in Ohio where he grew up with his mother; his parents never married but they were considered a close family. His father, John Crawford Jr., always put in the effort to visit him, regularly making the 400 mile drive from Jackson, Tennessee. In highschool John struggled academically but finally received his diploma at 20. After graduating he worked a number of odd jobs by picking up telemarketing gigs through a temp agency and manual labor jobs through friends of his father. During this time he ran into some minor trouble with the law, but also became a father to two kids with his longtime girlfriend LeeCee Johnson. Even in 2014, when John was 22, his father was still making his regular 400 mile trips to see his son and grandchildren.
Tony McDade, 38
May 27th, 2020
Tony McDade was a trans man who was repeatedly failed by the system. He grew up in Tallahassee’s Southside, a notoriously underserved community, where he was never able to access the mental health services he desperately needed. As a teenager Tony suffered physical and sexual abuse that set his life on a “sort of downhill spiral” which eventually led to him being incarcerated for 10 years. In prison he received no support and would often have to wait hours in line for the medications he took for his Bipolar disorder and “slight” schizophrenia. After being released Tony’s mental health only continued to deteriorate, however, he never stopped advocating for himself and his needs.
Before his last stint in prison Tony wrote to the Tallahassee circuit court asking for mental healthcare instead of a jail sentence, “Please . . . don’t send me back for something I didn’t do. I’ll lose it. Besides while in prison I smoked weed, popped ecstasy, and drank liquor. The officers brought it in and staff members so what good will that do. Prison seems to get you nowhere but still high.”
Freddie Gray, 25
April 12th, 2015
Freddie Gray grew up in poverty with his mother, Gloria Darden, and two sisters. During his childhood Gloria moved the family frequently and struggled with drug addiction. These circumstances on their own are debilitating, however, Freddie’s future was tragically sealed when from ages 2 to 6 he lived in a house with peeling lead paint. According to a lawsuit his family filed in 2008 against the homeowner, he and his sisters were found to have damaging lead levels in their blood; which led to multiple lifelong educational, behavioral and medical problems. The lawsuit ended in a settlement, and his sisters were able to buy a house with the money, but Freddie continued to struggle up until his death.
Most of what is known about Freddie Gray comes from a 2009 deposition where he talks about feeling uncomfortable around animals and how his mother “always used to say like [he] used to sleep with her. She used to call [him] ‘the mama’s boy”.
Philando Castile, 32
July 6th, 2016
Philando Castile was one of those people who everybody likes. He worked as a nutrition services supervisor with J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School, diligently serving meals to more than 500 kids twice a day. There, his colleagues described him as a team player who was remembered for his patience and friendly demeanor with staff and students alike. His mother remarked “I’m outraged about the whole situation because he is a really good person. He’s laid back. Everybody likes him… He don’t run the street. He don’t go to bars. He just does none of that.” Despite the quiet life he led, Philando Castile had been stopped by the police at least 49 times in 13 years for minor traffic and equipment violations-the majority of which were dismissed.
Philando’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, in reacting to the cop who killed him stated, “Murder to the highest extent of the law would be more suitable to this case because this was my best friend. This was my best friend.”
Alton Sterling, 37
July 5th, 2016
Alton Sterling was a staple of his Baton Rouge community; known to all as the, “CD man.” Most days, from late in the afternoon until the early morning hours, you could count on him to be leaning over a table in the parking lot of the Triple S store, playing music and selling discs to the neighborhood. His friends and family described Alton as funny, hard working and trying to overcome his past. Alton had at least two convictions on his record, but after serving his sentence he dedicated his life to supporting his five children by working a variety of jobs. Although CD hustling has criminal connotations for those who live outside this Baton Rouge neighborhood, to locals it’s just part of the culture. The owner of the Triple S, Muflahi, made it a point to say that he’d known Alton for six years and never saw a confrontation between him and anyone.
In fact, “just five minutes before [the shooting],” Muflahi said, “he walked into the store getting something to drink, joking around, [and we were] calling each other names.”
Sandra Bland, 28
July 13th, 2015
In January 2015 Sandra Bland became an activist. She began posting videos about police brutality and racial injustice; in one post lamenting that, “in the news that we’ve seen as of late, you could stand there, surrender to the cops, and still be killed.”
Sandra, known in her family as Sandy B, grew up in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, the fourth of five sisters. She was active in her family’s church and was the only one of her sisters to go to college out of state. There, she was a member of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, played trombone in the marching band and volunteered with a senior citizens advocacy organization. In 2009 she moved back home to Illinois and struggled for a few years. However, by 2015 friends’ recollections and Sandra’s own words paint her as being on the cusp of finding her niche in life; she seemed to have landed a perfect job, had a social media following for her social justice work, and was an active organizer in her community.
In the words of her friend and mentor LaVaughn Mosley, “She was in good spirits. She was looking forward to what was next.”
Samuel DuBose, 43
July 19th, 2015
The two most precious things to Samuel DuBose were his family and his music. According to his long term girlfriend DaShonda Reid, music is how DuBose expressed himself most clearly. Sam was known throughout Cincinnati as a producer, so many aspiring young rappers looked up to him as a mentor and often stopped by his house to jam and lay down tracks. He passed down his love of music to several of his kids-who regularly staged living room talent shows for the whole family. 14 year old Chyna would sing, others would rap, and some would play guitar or memorize and re-enact scenes from movies. The goal was to outshine their siblings, with Sam and DaShonda serving as judges.
In the days following Sam’s death DaShonda had done a lot of thinking. The cop who killed him, she says, “went from zero to 100 without even thinking what this man was to a community, to a family. There was no thought process there as to, ‘If I do this, what are the repercussions behind it?’
Michael Brown, 18
Aug 9th, 2014
In August of 2014 Mike Brown was preparing for college like 18 year olds all over the country. He had just won a hard fought battle to get his high school diploma and in 10 days he was to start at a local technical school to learn how to fix furnaces and air conditioners. But before getting back to work he was enjoying spending his free time hanging out with friends and recording rap tracks. As “Big’Mike” he rapped about money, success, partying and also his love for his stepmother and the manners his grandmother valued.
The last track he posted was “SMH Luh Vee” on August 7th. You can still find all his music on Soundcloud.
Kajieme Powell, 25
Aug 19th, 2014
There is almost nothing reported about the life of Kajieme Powell beyond his death. In articles from 2014 he is frequently described as “a clearly mentally disturbed individual” and nothing more. It’s likely we wouldn’t know his name at all if he had not been killed a week after and 4 miles away from Michael Brown-whose death had sparked the then ongoing Ferguson protests.
We know for a fact that Kajieme had a mental illness. Police misconduct against people with mental disabilities receives far less attention and can be perceived by the general public to be too ‘complex’ to rally around. This is just another way of valuing one life over another. Kajieme’s case should remind us of all the wrongful deaths we DON’T hear about and that black disabled lives matter just as much.
Elijah McClain, 23
Aug 30th, 2019
Elijah McClain lived a life rich in positivity, spirituality and earnestness. His friends and family knew him as one of those rare souls who was singularly gentle and kind to others. He was a massage therapist. One client of his-with whom he had connected deeply-described him as, “definitely a light in a whole lot of darkness.” An acquaintance said, “I don’t even think he would set a mousetrap if there was a rodent problem.”
In high school Elijah taught himself to play violin and guitar. During lunch breaks at the massage parlor he brought his instruments to animal shelters and played for the abandoned animals, believing that music put them at ease.
Elijah’s coworkers knew he was different but they appreciated him for it; speaking of him as being guided by a larger purpose and, “always trying to evolve”.