Justice for Robert Short: Laquan McDonald’s Brother Murdered by the Same Guns That Killed Laquan McDonald

I was set to get released from Hakeem Jones High School in East St. Louis, Illinois last Wednesday when I decided to board the No. 19 bus to the stop by my home. A…

Justice for Robert Short: Laquan McDonald’s Brother Murdered by the Same Guns That Killed Laquan McDonald

I was set to get released from Hakeem Jones High School in East St. Louis, Illinois last Wednesday when I decided to board the No. 19 bus to the stop by my home.

A passing patrolman took me out of the bus as I watched him with his eyes wide open while talking on his cell phone. I wasn’t even given the opportunity to text anyone, even though I was supposed to be in touch with my mother. As I leaned forward, he saw his hands in the dirt, the straps of my ankle cuffs from that night still tight on my ankles. I had done nothing wrong except come to my mother’s house to grab something to eat. The man took away my right-hand man’s nightstick and started searching my car. I then asked the officer if he could arrest me, but he kept saying no. I later realized that I was arrested for speeding and possessing a knife because of my hands cuffed.

It was only after several months of being called a thief and vandal by a judge and prosecution that I realized I wasn’t stolen, but my mental state. At the end of a long day, many of us have to rely on spiritual guidance from our family members to get through a challenging time. I had no one around me that I could turn to for help. That wasn’t the case that day at Hakeem Jones High School, but because of my “bad luck,” no one came to my rescue. I was set free after nine hours behind bars and put back on the No. 19 bus to my parents.

The video showed when I was shot in the back. I know for a fact that I would not be alive today if I was not bleeding out from my back before the duct tape came off.

I got home and noticed a black car driving towards me, but I had no clue who was in the car. I can remember driving down S. Bell on the 18 and Bell as the home of Dwayne Malone, where I was raised. Malone told my mom and two sisters I was going to get back home safe. Later that day, my whole world came crashing down when I received the call from my sister that the Chicago police had already come to our home and taken my brother Robert, my oldest, out of the home. They were later to tell us that Robert had a gun on him, but I know from his achilles heel that he did not.

I recall waking up in a hospital bed wondering whether Robert was still there in my bed. They had reportedly given my brother Robert special treatment because he was on disability. An officer had even stopped by our home and took Robert into custody the night before. He was supposed to be in rehab. Although my mom always tell me I can trust my intuition, at that time, I just needed to believe that Robert was in a place that was more comfortable for him.

I didn’t know the reason Robert had a gun on him, but I knew that he had “a lot to lose” at that moment.

Once I arrived at the hospital, I was finally able to see my brother, and he remained handcuffed at the top of his head in the hospital bed. I remember waking up in a hospital bed wondering whether Robert was still there in my bed. They had reportedly given my brother Robert special treatment because he was on disability. An officer had even stopped by our home and taken Robert into custody the night before. He was supposed to be in rehab. Although my mom always tell me I can trust my intuition, at that time, I just needed to believe that Robert was in a place that was more comfortable for him.

I feel as though my brother suffered because he had “a lot to lose” at that moment. He had no choice but to carry a firearm and fight for himself and to prove he was not a threat to the community.

After the interrogation, Robert was killed by the same guns that my brother was carrying in the hood of that car. Four years later, it is so much harder to accept that my brother and nephew have already paid the price for what happened on that day.

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