Chad Merrill / GoFundMe page

Defending a Black Friend Being Called the N-Word Gets a Pennsylvania Man Killed

Chad Merrill was fatally shot in the chest by another white man after he defended his friend, a Black man, Jerrell Douglas, who was being called the N-word and other racial slurs.

At the Red Rose Restaurant and Lounge in Hellam Township, Penn., early Saturday morning, James Saylor, age 24, began a racist rant against Douglas.

After examining surveillance footage from the bar, police determined that there were a number of male patrons seated at the bar when Saylor pushed his way into the group to confront Douglas to make the comments, according to the
York Daily Record.

“It was a racial incident; that’s how it kicked off,” Hellam Township Police Chief Doug Pollock said.

Merrill, age 25, who was seated next to Douglas but further away from Saylor, had come to Douglas’ defense.

Merrill’s brother, Richard, told
The Washington Post that he learned from Douglas that Merrill patted him on the back, telling him to tune it out and not to worry.

“[Douglas] didn’t escalate anything,” Pollock said. “He did the right thing.”

The bar’s owner eventually threw Saylor out. Surveillance video shows him walking toward his car in the parking lot. Saylor then fired a round of shots at the building.

Merrill walked into the parking lot and toward Saylor’s car and when he reached his window, Saylor shot him once in the chest, police said.

Witnesses said Merrill walked up to Saylor’s car for peacemaking.

After firing the deadly shot, Saylor then hit the gas, smashed into an Uber car in the parking lot and drove off. Police arrested Saylor at his home. He is charged with one count of criminal homicide and has been denied bail, according to court records.

Jessica Godden, the mother of Merrill’s five-month-old son, said him defending Douglas was not surprising to her.

“He’s the kind of the person that would give you the shirt off his back even if it was the last shirt he had,” Godden told the
York Daily Record.

His brother, Bobby Merrill, echoed Godden’s sentiment.

“Chad didn’t see things the way other people saw them,” he said. “In his eyes he just thought that everybody was equal. He didn’t understand why people didn’t like other people for stupid things like race, or age, or whatever the case may be.”

The Red Rose said in a statement Sunday on Facebook it extended “our most heartfelt condolences to the Merrill family” and included a GoFundMe page, which is raising money for Merrill’s funeral.

Latest News

woke politics

Republicans Launch a War on ‘Woke’ Politics in Hopes of Big Legislative Wins in 2022

In 2020, former President Barack Obama warned that the phrase “Defund the Police” could become a dangerous rallying cry for the conservative right. But now, Republicans have apparently taken that warning one step further, declaring war on all things “woke.” Allan Smith and Sahil Kapur of NBC News wrote that…

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…

AbbVie Joins Over 400 Leading US Employers in the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Business Coalition for the Equality Act’

Originally published on LinkedIn. AbbVie ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   AbbVie has joined a group of over 400 corporations and leading U.S. employers to support the Human Rights Campaign’s “Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” an initiative advocating for federal…