Outrage After Black Father Livestreams Being Shot And Killed By Police In Tennessee

Outrage After Black Father Livestreams Being Shot And Killed By Police In Tennessee

Rodney James Hess' family says he was mentally ill, but a functioning member of society.

Published March 18th

A Louisiana man, who was visiting his mother in Memphis, livestreamed his own death as police shot-and-killed him in his own car.

36-year-old Rodney James Hess was reportedly acting erratically and, according to police, tried to hit them “at least twice” with his vehicle. Hess is heard asking police, who surrounded his car, if he could speak to “the higher commands.”

He then made some sort of physical gesture (which isn’t seen) toward the officers. That’s when he’s shot three times through his windshield and drives off, crashing into something.

Hess’ fiance was watching on Facebook helplessly as the livestream shows his phone hit the ground and gets covered with glass. Police then presumably rush to the car. Hess was airlifted to a nearby hospital but died shortly after arrival.

Hess’ fiance, Johnisha Provost, told Commercial Appeal that her soon-to-be husband was not looking to commit suicide and had mental problems.

“He was not on a suicide mission,” she said. “He was not trying to harm anybody. He was asking them for help and they shot him down.” Provost also says that she was the one who told him to seek higher authority when pulled over by police.

“I always told him, ‘Babe, if you are ever in a situation where you need help, ask the person in charge for the higher command to help you,’ and that's what he kept saying.”

According to other members of his family, Hess was off his medication. They describe the young man as a hard-worker and a family man.

As for potential prosecution of the officers, no action has been taken place yet as the case is still in review.

Social media was not happy about what went down. Check out the Facebook livestream of Hess’ death and reaction to it below.

Written by Paul Meara

(Photo: Rodney James Hess Via Facebook)

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