They Called Him Suspicious For Driving A Luxury Car, Then Killed Him

back of an older car
Zain Murdock
April 14, 2022

On Oct. 12, 1995, Jonny Gammage went out for a drive. His cousin, famous NFL player Ray Seals, had lent him his fancy car: a Jaguar. 

Gammage never made it back home.

A Brentwood, Pittsburgh police officer soon pulled Gammage over, arguing that he was driving a luxury car 10 miles under the speed limit. Calling for backup, four other white cops arrived at the scene. Then, all five officers pinned him face-down on the pavement.

Between the suffocating pressure on his back and neck, Gammage died within seven minutes. He recalled one of the officers, Sergeant Keith Henderson’s name. Then, he heaved his final words: “Keith, Keith, I’m 31. I’m only 31.”

Decades later, Ray Seals watched as the video of George Floyd’s death hit the news. Floyd’s killer’s apathy for his life was shockingly similar to his cousin’s killer – only now, there was video evidence. 

"What's going to change the mindset of those that are committing these crimes in the uniform against people they should be protecting?” asked Seals.

No matter what we do, police will always find a way to criminalize and brutalize us. The deaths unfortunately didn't stop at Gammage – they're only caught on video these days. And the system continues to reproduce more Black death, over and over again.

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