Home / General / “I really couldn’t see his face.”

“I really couldn’t see his face.”


[Note: Description of police violence below the RM line.]

Matthew Ajibade, March 7, 1993 – January 2, 2015

Two deputies and a nurse have been sentenced in connection with the death of Matthew Ajibade.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr. Ajibade’s cousin Chris Oladapo wrote:

Whatever sentence is handed down here today makes no difference. These three people are just pawns, and those in leadership most culpable will be left unpunished.

I agree, but this seems insultingly inadequate:

Former deputy Jason Kenny was sentenced to one month in jail, with time to be served at weekends, on a conviction of cruelty to an inmate, along with three years probation.

Oh dear. An entire month of Saturdays and Sundays, ruined.

Apparently that’s the most Justice can do when a law enforcement officer engages in behavior that mimics mob violence against black men, right down to where the officer concentrated his efforts:

Ajibade, an artist and a computer science student, was tasered multiple times while strapped in a restraint chair, according to court testimony.

Jail house security video of the event showed him screaming, clothed only in his underwear and tased in his groin area.

Kenny, the only one who will “serve” time was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter. He testified in October:

…that Ajibade grunted and groaned, adding that “he did say he wanted to go, he wanted to die and he did scream as I was drive stunning him.”

It’s just a guess. I could be wrong. However, I suspect that if someone strapped Deputy Drivestun to a chair, shoved a taser into the vicinity of his balls and pulled the trigger four times, he’d be unhappy too.


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  • postmodulator

    I suspect that if someone strapped Deputy Drivestun to a chair, shoved a taser into the vicinity of his balls and pulled the trigger four times, he’d be unhappy too.

    Well, it’s a falsifiable hypothesis, so…

    Still, though, they’re taking his weekends away. Hasn’t he suffered enough? (Shit, I haven’t had a weekend off in months.)

  • Drexciya

    I appreciate your use of a content warning and that you led with a picture of the victim still alive and not with the video of them being violently brutalized. This is a practice I’d like to see more widely adopted and repeated as I’ve grown uncomfortable with a cavalier normalization of sensationalized violence against black people that’s entirely unnecessary if your point is providing awareness of or condemnation of it.

    As for the rest of that story…I just want to note that if all of our righteous discussion about decriminalizing nonviolent offenses led to the best possible legislative and policy solutions, Matthew Ajibade would still have been sent to jail where he could be tortured to death by cops who both had the ability to do it, and faced no meaningful consequences for doing so.

    • shah8

      +1 to first para.

  • matt w

    “Insultingly inadequate” is right. Imagine that a private citizen commits horrific acts of violence on a white person–say, punches him twice and leaves him tied up–and that later the white person dies. Would there be any chance that the private citizen would get off with the “Well we can’t be entirely sure that the death was caused by what the defendant did?” No, the citizen would go down for murder.

    But when a member of the law enforcement mob does it we bend over backward to avoid convicting them of the killing. We have a whole medical diagnosis that amounts to “Just randomly happened to die in police custody, herp derp.” It’s pathetic.

  • DrDick

    To call this a travesty of justice would be to flatter it. I think everyone involved in this incident should be sentenced to be tasered in the balls every day for the rest of their lives.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    But the real villain is Quentin Tarantino.

  • rm

    I will pretend, in order to save my sanity, that I do not understand how TASERED THE VICTIM plus VICTIM WAS TIED TO A CHAIR does not AUTOMATICALLY equal a murder charge and slam-dunk conviction.

    Of course, I do understand, but I do not want to acknowledge today the unwritten agenda that runs our society, because @#%#*[email protected]^$# @*&^(*&@#$*&% *&%*^()$$ those ^#^$O()_V) $&^$ O*P&$% and all of us too along with them.

  • Drexciya

    Mm. Torturing a black person to death is not a weather event and its status as an inevitability doesn’t reduce such an incident to a banality.

  • Manju

    And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance, William Zanzinger with a…six-month sentence

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