What happened to journalistic integrity?
The Toronto press seemed to have abandoned theirs when reporting on a tragic series of events in which 27-year-old Julian Weekes was shot down in Corktown, Toronto, when attending a memorial for a friend who was, himself, the victim of gun violence. The photograph of Weekes that thestar.com opted to use was a police mug shot that a friend of the deceased revealed on Twitter is nearly a decade old. This choice of photo reveals the ugly truth behind the ways mainstream media chooses to represent Black men.
The Twitter user, named Mufasa Ahmed, who claims to be a personal friend of Weekes's, wrote, "The least you can do is respect us after we pass." This revelation has caused a reaction on Twitter as other users chime in on the way the mainstream media chooses to represent Black men.
His original tweet has gone viral, with over 13,000 retweets:
Officers arrived at the scene to find Weekes "clinging to life" after suffering multiple gunshot wounds, and while emergency paramedics attempted to save the young man's life, he was pronounced dead on the scene.
Detective Sgt. Michael Patterson said in a news conference that Weekes had been attending a memorial celebration for his friend, Ceyon Carrington who was gunned down on March 23. He added that the nature of both crimes were similar in that Weekes and Carrington were both killed "by a coward carrying a gun."
Now it appears that Weekes is the victim of another form of cowardice that young Black men like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown also faced — being portrayed in the light of a criminal who deserved what he got as opposed to a young man who was victimized by senseless violence.
Watch actress and poet Ernestine Johnson perform her spoken word piece "Dear Black Man," about the injustices faced by young Black men in America:
(Photo: Toronto Police Department)