Story By: Darwin Campbell,
HOUSTON- Jordan Baker had a dream. It was not a lofty dream to change the planet, but a dream to make a difference in the lives of those around he touched. Nothing was more important than his number one priority – being a father and raising his son.
Today, it is a story of what might have been because that one day will never come.
Jordan Baker’s dreams are a memory now, silenced and shattered forever all because of racial profiling and the bad judgment of Houston Police Officer, J. Castro who fired the shots that ended Baker’s dream.
The 26-year old father was gunned down by the officer working at a small shopping center on Antoine and W. Little York Road. Allegedly, only the wearing of a hoodie sparked the incident. Reports have confirmed that Jordan was unarmed.
The shooting is the center of community outrage as once again the Houston Police Department joins other departments across Texas in demonstrating that the value of the life of an African-American males is not given full consideration when life and death judgments are made by police officers.
“Jordan had goals and dreams. He was a positive person…all that was cut short…,” said Janet Baker, his mother. “He was a good young man who was kind to everybody. His positive personality brightened everything around him.”
Janet Baker said she named him Jordan as a reminder of the biblical Jordan River because she thought he might grow up and be a leader.
“His name indicates “leadership” and the principle in his name defined his character,” she said.
According to his mother, the light in him shined brightly, especially when he spent time with his son.
Jordan grew up without a father in his home, but despite that would tell his mother growing up that one of his goals was to grow up and be a real father.
“He looked forward to fatherhood and showed it when he had a son,” she said. “He often told me I have a job to do and I am going to do it. I am going to set an example for my son.”
She said he was determined to break that cycle of growing up without a father and proved that by stepping up to be a real father to his son.
“I would enjoy seeing them spend time together and how he related to his son,” she said “They were so close. It made me love being around them and gave me a good feeling as a parent.”
Jordan was also a student at Houston Community College. He was on his way to his dream of getting a Bachelor’s Degree, but also wanted to learn a useful trade as a certified welder.
She said growing up, she could see his talents develop as a youth working with his hands and doing math problems in school.
“One of my greatest memories was the building of a swing,” she said. “My neighbors, friends and I remember that and still talk about to this day.”
Friends described him as a person of strength and character, discipline and caring.
The words were the same no matter who you asked. “He never thought of himself and often worked to help others,” she said.
She recalled a time when he tried to find jobs for six of his unemployed friends and helped another man who was terminated from a job. He even made phone calls for interviews and helped some with resumes.
Houston Activist Quannel X said that Jordan was “guilty” of only one thing – being a young African-American male wearing a hoodie.
“This man was not committing a crime and Jordan did not have a weapon. He was only looking in windows,” Quannel X said. “If you are wearing a hoodie, the first thing the police do is racial profiling, assuming a crime is about to take place.”
Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland noted no weapon was found and gave a brief interpretation of the alleged training involving the use of deadly force – training and procedures that are sure to be questioned during this investigation into Jordan’s shooting.
Quannel X contends that the Houston Police Department and Harris County District Attorneys Office will not be forthcoming with the investigation. He is calling for an independent review by a special prosecutor, the FBI, U.S. Justice Department and oversight by the Texas Rangers and a full review of surveillance tapes.
“It is tragic because this mother no longer has a child and this son no longer has his father,” Quannel X said “What can you say to this family that justifies taking the life of this young man.”
Janet Baker said what she will miss more is his presence because he was not only a loving son, but also he was a true friend.
The sadness of her loss is evident as she tearfully shared,“Jordan was and is my everything…,” she said. “A light has truly gone out for mankind.”