urgently needed; absolutely necessary
“I understand, but she has to talk to them at some point, Lisa. She’s a
vital part of this investigation.”
come to pass
occurred at the party, so we left together in his car.”
act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes
comply?” Gomez asks.
feeling or showing extreme anger
“Did Khalil seem
irate during this exchange?”
irate,” I say.
annoy continually or chronically
“He felt that the cop was
marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences
“Khalil wasn’t speeding or driving recklessly. It didn’t seem like he had a reason to pull us over.”
unable to act or decide quickly or firmly
“The officer forced Khalil out the car.”
“Forced?" she says.
“Yes, ma’am. He pulled him out.”
“Because Khalil was
a drug that produces numbness or stupor
She smiles and says in that same sugary, sympathetic tone, “Now, do you know if Khalil sold
sharing the feelings of others, especially sorrow or anguish
sympathy, the smiles, the understanding. This chick was baiting me.
cause to be distrusted or disbelieved
“Did you consume any alcohol at the party?” she asks.
I know that move from Law & Order. She’s trying to
discredit me. “No. I don’t drink.”
believe to be guilty
On the Monday night news, they finally gave Khalil’s name in the story about the shooting, but with a title added to it—Khalil Harris, a
Suspected Drug Dealer.
someone who sees an event and reports what happened
They didn’t mention that he was unarmed. They said that an “unidentified
witness” had been questioned and that the police were still investigating.
deliver to an enemy by treachery
Chris didn’t pull us over, he didn’t shoot Khalil, but am I
betraying who I am by dating him?
an interest followed with exaggerated zeal
Oh, so you can drag me to play basketball during one of your feminist
rages, but you can’t follow my Tumblr because of Emmett Till?
I get in my defensive
stance, eyes on the ball.
comfort offered to one who is disappointed or miserable
It’s my place of
solace when we lose a game, where I can cry or cuss if I want.
I stare at the ceiling and blink fast to keep from
area around the altar of a church for the clergy and choir
I catch a glimpse of the white casket at the front of the
sanctuary, but I can’t make myself try to see more than that.
persist for a specified period of time
endure for a night, but how many of you know that JOY—!
responsibility to someone or for some activity
We are a small organization here in Garden Heights that advocates for police
capable of being believed
“As we say farewell to Khalil, we find our hearts burdened with the harsh truth of how he lost his life. Just before the start of this service, I was informed that, despite a
credible eyewitness account, the police department has no intentions of arresting the officer who murdered this young man.”
an established line of travel or access
I ask you to join us and Khalil’s family after the service for a peaceful march to the cemetery. Our
route happens to pass the police station.
a formal expression of praise for someone who has died
At the end of the
eulogy, he says, “If anybody wishes to view the body, now is the—”
box in which a corpse is buried or cremated
We follow the
casket with the family. Just about everyone we pass has tears in their eyes. For Khalil. He really is in that
casket, and he’s not coming back.
express a good opinion of
“Khalil’s grandmother told me that Starr is the one who was with Khalil when this happened. I know she gave a statement to the police, and I want to
commend her on her bravery. This is a difficult situation, and that must’ve taken a lot of strength.”
the condition of being concealed or hidden
“We all want the same thing,” she says. “Justice for Khalil.”
“Excuse me, Ms. Ofrah,” Momma says, “but as much as I want that, I want my daughter to have some peace. And
a means or instrumentality for communicating information
The case is about to gain national
media attention, but I don’t want it to be at her expense.
a person who pleads for a person, cause, or idea
Besides being an
advocate, I’m also an attorney.
standing in for someone and speaking on their behalf
Just Us for Justice isn’t providing the Harris family with legal
representation—someone else is doing that. We’re simply rallying behind them. However, I’m available and willing to represent Starr on my own.
draw back, as with fear or pain
flinches. I’m used to gunshots, but these are louder, faster.
an administrative district of a city or town
The news shows three patrol cars that have been set ablaze at the police
precinct, about a five-minute drive away from us.
steal goods; take as spoils
A gas station near the freeway gets
looted, and the owner, this Indian man, staggers around bloody, saying he didn’t have anything to do with Khalil’s death.
become nervous or uneasy
Daddy calls and says the store is all right. It doesn’t stop me from
tensing up every time the news mentions a business that’s been attacked.
a state of disorder involving group violence
All of this is my fault. The
riots, gunshots, tear gas, all of it, are ultimately my fault. I forgot to tell the cops that Khalil got out with his hands up. I didn’t mention that the officer pointed his gun at me. I didn’t say something right, and now that cop’s not getting arrested.
establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
“There are multiple reports that a gun was found in the car,” the anchor claims. “There is also suspicion that the victim was a drug dealer as well as a gang member. Officials have not
confirmed if any of this is true.”
express opposition through action or words
They’re holding signs and posters of Khalil’s face and are chanting, “Justice for Khalil!”
I should be out there with them, but I can’t join that march, knowing I’m one of the reasons they’re
burdened psychologically or mentally
The Panthers educated and empowered the people. That tactic of empowering the
oppressed goes even further back than the Panthers though.
provide with abilities or understanding
Our schools don’t get the resources to
equip you like Williamson does. It’s easier to find some crack than it is to find a good school around here.
someone who has been legally convicted of a crime
Daddy disappears into his office and returns with his Glock. He’s not supposed to carry it since he’s a
felon, but he says that technically he doesn’t carry it. He keeps it in his office.
forbid Sekani wants to play outside. I gotta drive to my brother’s house, where I don’t have to worry about him getting shot like his sister’s best friend did.