Jamychael Mitchell and the $5 theft that cost him his life

"To me, his appearance from when he was arrested to his appearance at his death was just appalling," Roxanne Adams said. "He looked different. He looked so thin and frail."
Jamychael Mitchell

“Not only was I not born to be a slave: I was not born to hope to become the equal of the slave-master. They had, the masters, incontestably, the rope—in time, with enough, they would hang themselves with it. They were not to hang me: I was to see to that.”
James Baldwin, Collected Essays

Another black person is dead in police custody. Out of seemingly nowhere. Another black family is taking “the walk”. The walk from the car to the funeral home door to make arrangements for a service that they can’t afford — emotionally, nor financially, in many cases.

As every black preacher says every Sunday morning, “I won’t be long.” And, no, I won’t be long in my blog post about this latest incident. Why? Because I’m tired. Tired as f*^k. Yes, that’s the word I intended to use, and I’m pissed that I’m not actually free to use it.

Jamychael Mitchell, a 24-year-old with a history of mental illness chronicled by the state of Virgina, stole a 2-liter Mountain Dew, a Snickers bar, and a Zebra cake from a convenience store. He got caught and was sent to jail.

Mitchell, while awaiting a September 4 trial date, though arrested on April 21, was found dead in his Portsmouth, VA cell on August 19.

How did he die? We don’t know. But his family, as they await autopsy results, believe he starved to death after refusing to eat or take medication for his mental illness. Since his bipolar disease was well documented, does this constitute state-sanctioned assisted suicide, or is it murder? Or is that even what happened?

You do some research, beautiful people, and then tell me. ‘Cause like I said, I wouldn’t keep you long.




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Agnes Jean and Hop's only daughter. Gridiron warrior. Living until I die.
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