‘Black Obituary Project’ encourages black people to write their own deaths by police

DC NEWSBy Amber Randall, DCNF

A new project allows black people to write their own obituaries, with most envisioning the writer dying unarmed at the hands of police officers.

Ja’han Elliot Jones wrote a single piece about his own death to create the Black Obituary Project, reports the Grio.

Jones felt that he could likely be fatally shot by the police and decided to write his own obituary. “Ja’han Elliot Jones, 24, was unarmed when shot and killed in conflict with local police officers,”  it starts.

Rather than submitting it as a freelance piece, Jones decided to start the Black Obituary Project after realizing many people could feel the same way he did.

“So often, we are killed and our photos are posted about but our stories are not. This grants black folks agency we’re often denied in death. We are telling our stories ― speaking of our triumphs and tragedies ― before anyone else attempts to do so for us.,” Jones told The Huffington Post.

Approximately 100 obituaries have been placed on the site since it was launched Thursday. Most obituaries feature the writer dying at the hands of cops.

Statistics tell a different story on the idea of blacks being systematically killed by cops.

Three hundred and ninety-eight white people have been killed by police officers so far in 2016, compared to the 200 black people officers killed this year, according to a police tracker.

Black people pose a greater threat to each other than police officers do, according to FBI Homicide statistics. In 2015, 2,664 black people were murdered; 89 percent of those murders were committed by other blacks.

One study conducted found that officers were three times less likely to shoot an unarmed black person than an unarmed white person.

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