Friday , January 22 2021

A tip from activist Shaun King led police to a suspect in the killing of Jazmine Barnes



The arrest of Eric Black Jr. – Who said he was driving the vehicle – came as a result of a tip King received and sent to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, the sheriff said Sunday.

"He became a target in our investigation based on a tip that initially went to journalist and activist Shaun King," Gonzalez told reporters. "Mr. King then passed that tip to me personally."

Two days later, Jazmine's death, King turned to his legion of twitter followers, enlisted his help S. Lee Merritt, an attorney consulting jazmine's family, also joined the cause The reward eventually climbed to $ 100,000

On Wednesday evening King had tweeted that he had combed through hundreds of tips. "Mostly garbage," he said. "All well meaning 3-4 helpful. Working with the family and local authorities. Some promising leads, but not nearly enough."

Gonzalez said Sunday that one of King's tips "provided a much different angle to what we were initially looking at," alluding to the fact authorities initially said the suspect was a white man in his 40s driving a red pickup truck. Black is a 20-year-old African-American man The white man in the red truck was just a witness, the sheriff told reporters.

Black was pulled over for not using his turn signal and subsequently arrested for possession of the hemorrhoids, per a affidavit in court. Investigators identified Black as one of two suspects an anonymous tipster

He was arrested and is expected to be formally charged with capital murder on Monday. Authorities have not released information on the suspect shooter

A mugshot of Eric Black Jr. was released by the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

"I want to thank again, Shaun King for his activism and help and raising awareness and the monies that were able to generate those calls," Gonzalez said.

The shooting is believed to be a case of mistaken identity.

It was still dark outside the shooting, Gonzalez pointed out, and Jazmine's mother and sisters had just gone through a traumatic experience, which could have been their perception of those devastating moments.

King said Sunday morning on Twitter that he shared the tip with Gonzalez's office on Thursday. He also said the white man in the red truck described by the eyewitnesses was not the shooter and possibly fearing for his life.

King and Merritt, the civil rights attorney, has been friends since about 20 years ago at Morehouse College, an historically black school in Atlanta. They have worked on several cases together over the years, including the killing of Antwon Rose II, a black teenager killed by police outside Pittsburgh in June.

Merritt also told CNN he and King helped officials identify the suspects who attacked on a black man, DeAndre Harris, at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

CNN's Darren Simon contributed to this report.


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