Woman shot and killed in traffic identified
White man runs red light, causes accident, shoots and kills Black woman with her hands up
By Shaun King
Early Saturday morning, Deborah Pearl, a 53-year-old African American mother and employee of a Cleveland area Harley Davidson Diner in Northeast Ohio, was on her to way work.
At 7:20 a.m., as she was driving her Ford Taurus, she had no idea that she was living her very last moments on this earth. Matthew Ryan Desha, a 29-year-old white man, ran a red light at an intersection and hit Pearl’s car with his Jeep.
After his car flipped many times and hers was pushed into the intersection, what happened next was like something out of a horror movie.
As Pearl got out of her car to assess the situation, Desha did as well. Except he also grabbed his 5.56-millimeter high powered assault rifle. According to witnesses, Pearl then proceeded to put her hands in the air in an attempt to save her life from the armed stranger who had narrowly avoided killing them both in the crash just seconds earlier.
It mattered not to Desha. A witness who called 9-1-1 reported hearing him fire off at least 12 shots. At first, they appeared to be random. The 9-1-1 caller heard Pearl, who was a sitting duck at that point, begin screaming. Desha then began aiming and firing at her. While it has not yet been released how many times she was hit, when police arrived at the scene, Pearl was found there on the pavement mortally wounded and bleeding out.
Devastated and shocked, her husband and other family members came to the scene, and, understandably so, could not even muster up the words to explain how they were feeling.
Desha was arrested near the scene. Early Monday morning he was charged with the murder of Deborah Pearl. Police have not mentioned a motive for the brutal murder, but the entire scene is riddled with awful implications.
Just this past June, “police charged 29-year-old Matthew R. Desha with one felony count of carrying a concealed weapon and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. A search of the North Ridgeville, Ohio, man’s car turned up a loaded 9 mm handgun and three additional loaded magazines, along with straws with suspected drug residue and other contraband.”
Clearly, that arrest wasn’t enough to have this man fully disarmed.
My mind immediately goes to Kalief Browder, who was arrested on suspicion of stealing a backpack. Kalief spent three years in jail awaiting trial for that charge before simply being released when the case was dismissed.
Desha, though, was arrested on a felony gun charge and was suspected of having drugs in his car as well, but was released in plenty of time to murder Pearl in cold blood.
I don’t know Desha, but I know cold-blooded bigotry and violence. I know that what Desha did to Pearl reminds me a great deal of what Dylann Roof, another heavily armed white man who had been previously arrested multiple times for drugs and other charges, did to a group of unarmed African Americans in Charleston, S.C.
Either way, a family just lost their wife and mother in a senseless act of American violence and we don’t have a single sign that anybody in power is close to doing a thing about it.