With the driver present at the scene of the crime, and the police “confident” that the same person posted racist Snapchats about the killing, no arrest has been made.
Sherrell Lewis Jr., 31, was killed last week in Louisiana while helping clear debris from a highway by the truck Matthew Martin was driving. Martin later posted a video on Snapchat about the incident, referring to Lewis as “some n**ger” he hit on the highway. On Snapchat, Martin responded to his friend’s questions about the truck’s condition and Lewis’ life, saying Lewis “F**ked it [the truck] up pretty good” and that Lewis died on the way to the hospital.
Investigations are ongoing, and while the comments are “inflammatory” and “morally and socially unacceptable,” according to Louisiana State Police Sheriff Sam Craft, “the post did not violate any criminal code with Louisiana Law.”
The fact that there have been no arrests when a man admitted to hitting Lewis with his truck and seemingly has no remorse on social media is in line with the trend of lack of prosecution for the killing of Black men.
Philando Castile’s killer was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter and settled the case for just under $3 million. Two cops in Alton Sterling’s death were ultimately not charged for his death, though the family learned one of the officers held a gun to Sterling’s head at the beginning of the interaction and said, “I’ll kill you b***.”
And while just under 1,000 people are shot and killed by police annually, just a small amount of cases each year lead to criminal charges, according to The Washington Post’s fatal police shooting database.
So if racist police can get away with killing Black men, why can’t the racist 18-year-old driving a pick-up truck On his birthday and now death day, Sherrell Lewis Jr. ends up being a part of a terrible statistic that Black lives still don’t matter.
The Snapchat racism and lack of justice has sparked outrage on social media, leading to the creation of #JusticeforRell, as well as a GoFundMe account to help Lewis’s sister that has raised over $15,000 in three days.