The Killing of Kasandra Perkins by Jovan Belcher

More

The Kansas City Star has a story up narrating the Jovan Belcher's actions after he murdered his girlfriend and the mother of his child:

Belcher thanked Pioli for everything he had done for him. He asked if he and Clark Hunt would take care of his daughter. Chiefs Head Coach Romeo Crennel and linebackers coach Gary Gibbs arrived in the parking lot and Belcher reportedly announced, "Guys, I have to do this." 

Crennel tried to dissuade him. "I was trying to get him to understand that life is not over," Crennel told The Star. "He still has a chance and let's get this worked out.''

As Pioli and Crennel tried to reason with Belcher, the men heard police sirens closing in. Belcher then walked a few steps away with the gun still pointed at his head.

"I got to go," Belcher reportedly said. "I can't be here."

Belcher knelt behind a vehicle and made the sign of the cross across his chest before firing a single bullet into his head. Kansas City police believe Belcher killed himself because he was distraught over what he had done to Perkins.

"He cared about her," Sharp said. "I don't think he could live with himself."

I think this stretches the boundaries of the word "care." If caring about the mother of your child includes killing her, then the word "care" has no applicable meaning. We might as well use the word "hate." Your feelings are known only to you. Your actions are the only evidence we have. The most important action that Jovan Belcher took toward Kasandra Perkins was the ending of her life.

It may well be true, as the Chiefs claim to believe, that Belcher killed himself because he was "distraught" over having killed someone he claimed to care about. It may also be true that Belcher killed himself because he was "distraught" at the grave consequences he would face for having enslaved a human life, for appropriating someone else's body to serve as a vessel for his rage.

But what is indisputable is that Jovan Belcher was a murderer. Like George Huguely is a murderer. Like Clayton Whittemore is a murderer.

Self-murder does not change this.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In