Two weeks ago, an unarmed black teen was shot in the back of the head by a police officer in Batch Springs, Texas. Jordan Edwards was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital.
The police officer has since been fired and charged with murder. Nevertheless, the incident was the latest in a long history of unarmed black men being the victims of violence by police officers. That history has become more pronounced in recent years with more high-profile shootings as more and more people become aware of the situation across the country.
The latest incident seemingly had an effect on Kobe Bryant. The former Los Angeles Lakers star was evidently moved by Edwards’ premature death and is now lending his support to his family. After hearing that Jordan’s brother, Kevon, was in the car at the time of the shooting, Bryant sent a signed jersey and shoes to the unfortunate witness.
This is clearly a topic that is near and dear to Bryant’s heart. He was outspoken about Trayvon Martin’s shooting and was the architect behind Lakers players wearing warmup t-shirts with the phrase “I can’t breathe” after the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police.
Bryant most recently led a summit designed to bring peace between police and the Black Lives Matter movement in Los Angeles.
These are unfortunate circumstances, of course, but seeing Bryant become more and more involved in a topic that is far larger than basketball is pleasant to see.
We are praying for Jonathan Edwards’ family in a very difficult time.