An Ohio police officer's Facebook Live video has emerged as one of the most powerfully personal responses in the wake of the two most recent police shootings.
On Wednesday, Nakia Jones said that her son showed her the video of two Baton Rouge cops fatally shooting 37-year-old Alton Sterling, an African American, while he was on the ground.
The shooting hit home especially hard for Jones, who has 20 years experience as an officer. She said it made her so furious that she nearly wanted to quit her job. She lives in Warrensville Heights, a predominantly African American community, where she reportedly became the first black female officer on the force.
"The reason why I became a police officer was to make a difference in peoples' lives," Jones said in her video.
Jones also noted that she doesn't like it when people blame all law enforcement officials for racially-motivated shootings. "It bothers me when I hear people say, 'Y'all police officers this, y'all police officers that," she said. "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 life for other people."
She holds her fellow officers to an understandably high standard, and it's clear that not all of them are meeting it.The same day that Jones recorded her video, a police officer in Minnesota fatally shot Philando Castile, an African American, in his car during a routine traffic stop. Castile became the 136th black person killed by cops in 2016. The list of names just keeps getting longer.
In the video, Jones suggested that the police officers that profile, harass, and fatally shoot African Americans sully the uniform, putting to words a sentiment that many others must be feeling.
"How dare you stand next to me in the same uniform and murder somebody," she said. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself! So, why don't we just keep it real? If you're that officer that knows good and well you've got a God complex, you're afraid of people that don't look like you, you have no business in that uniform! Take it off! If you're afraid to go and talk to an African American female or a male, or a Mexican male or female because they're not white like you, take the uniform off! You have no business being a police officer, because there's many of us that would give our life for anybody!We took this oath and we meant it! If you are that officer that's prejudiced, take the uniform off and put the KKK hoodie on because I will not stand for that!"
Jones concluded her powerful video with a message to everyone to "put the guns down" and work in concert with each other.
"We've got to stand together because a house divided against each other will not stand," she said.
As of Thursday, Jones' video had nearly 3 million views.
This post has been updated.