Victim of Current Climate by Ben Camacho & Jayrol

Editor - Joshua Zamudio / Editor - Jenae Lien / Written & Photographed by Ben Camacho / Photographs by Jayrol San Jose / Contributing Producer : Kemal Cilengir

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Victim of Current Climate by Ben Camacho & Jayrol

“They had me on the ground, I was slipping into darkness man, bleeding out, and they still tryna take me to jail.” - Jermaine Welch.

Photograph by Ben Camacho

 

We met Jermaine during one of the first few protests in late May. There was a trash can burning at an intersection downtown, set aflame by a masked protestor. He came up to us, eager, and asked to get a photo of him next to the flames. His blue Weedies hoodie stood out as he circled the flames, throwing his fist up at one point. He walked back to us and thanked us. He told me he was out there because in his 38 years, he’s had maybe 4 good ones. The rest, he’s been persecuted by the system he condemns. We split ways as we were leaving the area since a curfew had been imposed and it was unclear whether or not media was exempt.

Photograph by Ben Camacho

A few days later, we received a message from Jermaine. 

“Got shot six times bro. I’m in the hospital.”

Photograph by Ben Camacho

Jermaine had been driving his Dodge Charger heading North on Broadway, arriving at Manchester in South Central on June 3rd shortly past midnight when he heard the words, “Fuck cops!” and multiple gunshots. Adrenaline pumping through him, keeping him awake, his blood pouring from his body through 6 different areas, he drove down the freeway a few exits. Feeling a deep sleep coming over him, he pulled off and flagged down a Sheriff vehicle that was parked on the first intersection he arrived at.

Photograph by Ben Camacho

“I was in survival mode, all I thought was to get to my sister, she’s a nurse,” he said. “She would keep family alive, you can’t trust the hospitals around here.”

Photographs by Jayrol San Jose

The last thing he felt were the Sheriffs holding him down and grabbing his thumb to unlock his phone. 

“I’m shot bro, what are you doing? I’m bleeding here,” he said.

Photographs by Ben Camacho

“Calm down! We’re trying to save your life!” replied the Sheriff.

Jermaine woke up detained in a hospital, now implicated in his own shooting by the LAPD.

Photographs by Ben Camacho

Jermaine has been left homeless, struggling to recover, while LAPD is treating him as a suspect and refusing to answer questions about why an officer shot into the crowd gathered at the intersection where Jermaine was shot.

Photograph by Ben Camacho

 
 
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If you'd like to support Jermaine here is a gofundme set up by jermaine's friend for him: https://www.gofundme.com/f/victim-of-current-climate

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