“I’ve Had Enough!”Black Deputy Commits Suicide
Deputy Clyde Kerr III of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office took his own life outside of the police station where he worked on Monday, February 1st.
Prior to his death, Kerr, a 43 year old military veteran and a father, left a series of videos where he spoke bluntly about issues of race, policing and the injustice inherently built into the system of law enforcement.
In his videos, Kerr spoke bluntly on issues of race, police injustice as well as mental health needs in law enforcement. Kerr also spoke to his own struggles, trying to reconcile his identity as a Black man working within an unjust system. He also hinted at his impending demise.
Lafayette City Marshal Reggie Thomas stated, “Being a Black man in law enforcement can be difficult”. Thomas was the first Black elected to a city wide position in Lafayette.
Since his death, Kerr’s videos have gone viral, sparking the age old yet never resolved conversation about systemic racial violence inherent within law enforcement institutions. In his own words Kerr stated:
“You have no idea how hard it is to put a uniform on in this day and age with everything that’s going on,” he said.
“My entire life has been in the service of other people … y’all entrust me to safeguard your little ones, your small ones, the thing that’s most precious to you, and I did that well. I passed security clearance in the military … but that has allowed me to see the inner workings of things.”
Kerr made it apparent that his choice to end his life was made with a clear mind and with a purpose attached to it; as a protest.
“I’ve had enough.” Kerr said in one of his videos. He pointed out the deaths of Botham Jean, murdered in his apartment by off duty Dallas PD officer, Amber Guyger; Breonna Taylor, killed by the Louisville Kentucky Police Department while serving a no knock warrant and George Floyd, who was murdered on camera while being detained on suspicion of passing counterfeit currency.
Remember Christopher Dorner? former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner went on a killing spree and then led police on a massive manhunt after he was accused of shooting five police officers and killing two, along with two other people, after leaving a manifesto in which he also expressed his exasperation with the racial bias he himself faced as a Black man working in law enforcement.
Dorner broke the Blue Wall of silence when he reported a fellow officer who had abused a mentally ill suspect, an act that led to Dorner being fired from the force.
Dorner, like Kerr, has also served time in the military. Both apparently pushed to the brink after buckling under the weight of baked in racism with little to no accountability.
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