From Father to Son, With Love

One reader remembers his fallen son in the aftermath of the Johannes Mehserle verdict.

By Jamilah King Nov 11, 2010

We have tough days here at ColorLines. After all, it’s not easy to report case after case of police brutality without feeling a bit jaded about how little accountability exists. But when reader Dawud Salaam reached out to us with a moving poem inspired by his lost son, Jamil, we were floored.

Salaam wrote to us after our ongoing coverage of Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old man from Oakland who was killed on camera by former BART cop Johannes Mehserle, to tell us the story of his son. Jamil was only 23 when he was killed in what his father said police are calling an attempted robbery. The incident happened in a Colorado Springs parking lot in July of 2007, and police are still investigating. So today’s daily love is dedicated to a father’s love.

Oaktown injustice

Pointblank dead

Two years, sentence

I am seeing red

Can’t keep going on like this

Like nothing happening

Oscar is dead

And the racist cop

And the system don’t stop

To see that there is value in me

Young, black and brown

There is value in me

Young, black and brown

To serve and protect is a joke

To protect what, it is sure not

Black folks

My people are seen as the enemy

Of the state

Sentenced to life without

the possibility of parole

a life of peril unfolded

Oscar is dead

Oaktown injustice, America’s injustice

Is alive

We’re ending the day as often as possible by celebrating love. We welcome your ideas for posts. Send suggestions to, and be sure to put Celebrate Love in the subject line. You can send links to videos, graphics, photos, quotes, whatever. Or just chime in to the comments below and we’ll find you. Be sure to let us know you’ve got the rights to share any media you send.