Thursday, November 17, 2022


The truth never had a chance here.

Let me say that again.

The truth never had a chance here.

That statement, made by attorney Ralph E. Fernandez, about the death of 40-year-old Tamla Horsford, a black Forsyth County woman and mother of six who died during a largely all-white, adult slumber party in 2018, has always felt like a sliver of glass shoved into my heart.

The case surrounding Horsford’s death was compromised by conflicting witness statements, a tampered crime scene, mishandled evidence and “unheard of” absence of autopsy photos.  The medical examiner’s report stated Horsford had severe injuries to her head, neck, and torso. There were cuts to her face, wrist, hand, and lower legs. Horsford also had a “laceration to the right ventricle” of her heart.

Investigators claim Horsford fell about fourteen feet from the back porch of the home and died on impact. Her death was classified as an accident. Others who reviewed the case state her injuries were “consistent” with being in a physical struggle. Horsford’s case was closed, no charges were ever filed, and no one has ever been held accountable for her death.

The truth never had a chance here.

The parents of 8-year-old Jayceon Charles have been seeking justice for their young son since October 2022. Jayceon was visiting the home of a neighborhood friend with plans to go to an amusement park the following day. The friend’s family reportedly were roasting hot dogs when a fire broke out and little Jayceon was burned over 80% of his body. Instead of calling emergency services, the family, who are white, wrapped Jayceon in Vaseline and saran wrap. Not only did the family NOT call 911, they never contacted Jayceon’s parents. Little Jayceon managed to place a call to his mother, screaming into the phone for help. As a result of his injuries, Jayceon has since been on a ventilator, suffered from kidney failure, brain damage, had multiple surgeries and has coded twice. The Warren, Arkansas police have declined to investigate.

The truth never had a chance here.

Most recently, 25-year-old Shanquella Robinson of Charlotte, NC traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with friends to celebrate her bestie’s birthday. She was later found unconscious in her room and pronounced dead. Those friends claimed she died of alcohol poisoning. Days later a video clip surfaced showing those same friends beating Shanquella senseless and filming the assault just hours before her death. The autopsy report showed that Shanquella died from a severe spinal cord injury and broken neck. At this time, none of the friends who she went on the trip with are facing charges. And not one has been forthcoming or honest about what happened.

The truth doesn’t have a chance here. Or so some would want us to believe.

These are not stories that make national headlines. Missing white women syndrome is in full effect when it comes to the media attention on a murdered black mother, an 8-year-old black child viciously assaulted, and a beautiful black girl with ugly friends who showed themselves to be evil enemies. Were these stories to receive the same media attention as that of Gabby Petito, an American woman murdered by her boyfriend, maybe justice would be served. Maybe there would be earnest investigations into their cases and maybe with enough eyes questioning the facts, the truth would have more than a chance.

How did we get to this place? Where law enforcement will circumvent the truth to save face, protect the guilty, or simply show their disdain and lack of concern and compassion. When did social media clout become more important than reverence for human life? What has happened to our humanity?

These three cases, and others, haunt me. I've lost sleep pondering what I could possibly do to help. I don't know any of the families but I wish I could wrap them in a hug and let them know I care. I want to be there for them and I am not the only one. Their pain is my pain. It is our pain. Their frustration is our frustration. But for the grace of God, it could be me, or my child, or my daughter. Our beautiful black souls deserve so much more than being so easily dismissed.