Update: The Warrensville, OH, Police Department has denied rumors that Nakia Jones had been fired for her viral Facebook post. In the days after her post went viral, rumors emerged claiming that Jones had been fired or suspended over her video, which has been seen over 7 million times. She denied those rumors in a second public post to Facebook on Friday evening. The Warrensville Police Department confirmed by phone on Saturday that Jones had not been fired nor disciplined.
This story was originally published on July 8, 2016. A police officer’s emotional call for peace and justice is going viral in the days after multiple shootings left two Black men and five police officers dead in separate incidents. Nakia Jones, a police officer in the Warrensville Police Department just outside of Cleveland, OH, turned to Facebook to express her grief and rage in the aftermath of the death of Alton Sterling, a Black man killed by police in Baton Rouge, LA, on July 5.
“Not only am I a mother of two African-American sons, and I have African-American nephews, and I have brothers, I am also a person that wears the uniform. With the blue,” she says. “I became so furious, and so hurt, because it bothers me when I hear people say, ‘Y’all police officers this, y’all police officers that,’ and they put us in this negative category when I’m saying to myself, ‘I’m not that type of police officer. I know officers that are like me that would give their lives for other people.' “But what hurts me the most is that the people that stood in front of a judge, that stood in front of a mayor and said, ‘I swear my oath that I will serve and protect this community,’” she continues, “how dare you stand next to me in the same uniform and murder somebody. How dare you! You oughta be ashamed of yourself.” In the days since her video was posted, the death of Philando Castile in Minnesota, and the shootings of multiple police officers in Dallas, have added extra weight to her words. Jones did not immediately return a request for an interview on the recent events. Castile was shot by police on July 6 after being stopped for a broken taillight, with the aftermath streamed on Facebook in a live video by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. And the next day, five police officers were killed at an otherwise peaceful protest in Dallas. Before the protest started, photos on the Dallas Police Department’s Twitter account showed smiling officers posing with demonstrators. “Today, I wanted to quit when I saw that video,” Jones says of the filming of Sterling's death. But she adds she realized she needed to keep the uniform. “I need for you all to support the ones of us that are right. And I need you to stand [against] those of us that are not right.”