White Louisiana Teen Who Killed A Black Man, Then Laughed About It On Social Media, Won't Face Any Charges
Even in death, we're disrespected.
Sherrell L. Lewis Jr. was trying to do a good deed when he was struck by a car, and the man behind the wheel thought it was cool to make light of the death on Snapchat.
According to WAFB, Lewis was driving down an interstate in Vernon Parish, Louisiana, on Tuesday, May 29, when he saw debris in the road and stopped to pick it up. As he was gathering the objects, tragedy struck.
"What it appears at this point is that this man was trying to do a good deed," said Sergeant James Anderson of the Louisiana State Patrol. "There was debris in the roadway and he didn't want any other motorists to strike it. So he gets out of the vehicle to remove the debris, and he is struck while this is happening."
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Lewis was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Matthew M. Martin, 18, was behind the wheel of the pickup truck that hit Lewis, but his reaction to the incident is not sorrow or sympathy.
#prosecutematthew #JUSTICEFORRELL 🙌🏽— na$tyyC (@CionnaMarie) May 30, 2018'
lord i ask that you pls wrap your arms around family & friends. a loved one was lost yesterday by a white man that thinks its funny cause he was the one to hit him. Rell just turnt 31, life is too short. We love you & will get justice ❤️ pic.twitter.com/1GT1TCmBRQ
Screenshots from Martin’s Snapchat show him telling friends he hit "some n*gger" and using a laughing emoji after telling his friend the man died.
The screenshots have been posted on social media and reported to Vernon Parish police. However, Sheriff Sam Craft says while the posts are "morally and socially unacceptable, the post did not violate criminal law."
Update, July 6, 2018:
Following an investigation of the crash, Louisiana State Police have announced Martin will not face any charges for killing Lewis, the New York Daily News reports.
“Martin was operating his vehicle at the posted speed limit of 55 mph, prior to the crash, and decreased his speed as he approached Lewis Jr.’s location in the roadway,” a state police statement reads. The department also says it found Martin was not using his cell phone at the time of the crash.
Finally, the officers said being “insensitive" is wrong, but not illegal.
The decision of the state not to press charges was met with anger in some parts of the community, with some questioning how much forensic analysis the officers actually did. At least one critic of the decision claimed there were no skid marks on the road, and argued if Martin had been paying attention and had hit the brakes, those marks would be present.
The state police have not responded to these criticisms.
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