In Partial Defense of Jayland Walker and Chris Quinn
Surprisingly, I came across a fairly even-handed portrayal of the Jayland Walker Case:
Despite Dueling Narratives in the Jayland Walker Case, One Issue Remains: What Happened?
After reading John Tucker's exhaustively researched article, I had empathy for both Jayland Walker and cleveland.com editor Chris Quinn. Let's kind of flesh out both angles.
No national corporate news agency had presented ALL the facts in the Jayland Walker Case. John Tucker seemingly presents all the facts as to why a grand jury failed to secure an indictment against Akron Cops, then attempted to pull away from the case and tried to get to know Jayland Walker, the person.
By all accounts, Jayland Walker was a model citizen until about a month before his death. Walker's fianceé was killed in a car accident, and, quite frankly, it was a gruesome death.
Now here's where some speculation is in order. At this point in the timeline, Walker was working at Amazon. Multiple reports verify his employment, but none elaborated on why he left. I would like to pick up the Amazon thread for a moment.
At my day job, we caught an Amazon Van Driver breaking the law and reported all of our evidence to the local police. The policeman said that there was an almost impenetrable layer of corporate firewalls at Amazon, we would basically have to catch the Amazon Driver in the act and handcuff them ourselves. Amazon is widely considered one of the worst places to work in America. Is it plausible that Walker was despondent over his fianceé's death and Amazon simply didn't care, they just told him to keep working? More than plausible. Is it plausible that Jayland was pissed at his corporate overlords when he walked away from Amazon? Again, more than plausible. Is it possible that reporters tried to get comments from Amazon in regards to Walker and they were stonewalled? Plausible, plausible, plausible. My cousin "Dan" actually worked at Amazon. After his car accident, he couldn't get any time off. His bosses told him that his injuries were not "Amazon Problems," but "Dan Problems." Dan ended up walking away from Amazon.
After reading Tucker's piece, I'm convinced that Jayland Walker was in the throngs of a mental health crisis as opposed to Walker being a career criminal. If you go by the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, Walker's stress level would have been off the charts.
Now your response may be "that's not the cops' problem."
Listen, I can't get past the fleeing the cops in a ski mask portion of the case, but last year I kind of thought Walker got what he deserved.
Today I feel like Jayland Walker got screwed. Not necessarily by the cops, but by society.
Quinn is the editor over at cleveland.com and I am quite frankly surprised that he greenlit Tucker's article. Let me tell you a personal story as to why I was surprised.
My previous job was at Iron Mountain and we have documented our adventures there on a few occasions. This week, it was announced that the branch I used to work at was closing. You won't read about it in the local news. Why? Because at one time nearly 50 people worked out of the branch. (In the year 2000.) Last month, only 3 full time employees remained. For the last 5-8 years, corporate managers knew that one day the branch would close, so they continued to downsize employees while they collected their bloated salaries as they were being transferred to other buildings or business lines.
At some point, Chris Quinn had to have known that he was managing a sinking business. As long he kept his bosses happy at Advance Publications, he would continue to collect his salary. All the while, both his union staff, and his writing staff, continued to shrink and shrink. As long as certain narratives were followed, it appeared Quinn would either be the last off of the sinking ship, or transported to the safety of another ship, so to speak, for being a good corporate soldier.
The What Happened Article was extensively researched and actually followed the tenets of journalism. It did not follow a specific narrative. Why deviate from the narrative now?
Earlier in the day, I had made a comment on Facebook about a separate article written by Quinn and suspiciously DIDN'T get blocked.
Hmmm, something is going on......