the torah’s brillance is that it presents the reader morally challenging stories for discussion and debate.
for example, abraham’s binding of isaac always evokes strong opinions. was abraham right or wrong when he attempted to sacrifice his son at god’s request?
in the end, we can become better people by engaging in these discussions.
the torah’s greatness is that some of these stories are articulated in very few words. these bare bone stories have remained relevant for thousands of years.
the ee lee’s story contains such torah-like story. it is the story of the mother whose story is told within the criminal complaint.
within the criminal complaint relating to ee lee’s murder, we learn the following information concerning this remarkable mother:
“on january 12, 2021, detective gayle of MCSO received a phone call from KA’s mother, JR, stating that her son (KA) may have a video we would be interested in seeing in his old iPhone. she stated that the video was sent to him via facebook messenger by defendant kamare lewis but was later deleted. she believes that we would be able to recover the video and stated that MCSO could pick the cellphone up tomorrow from her son. detective gayle asked JR what she saw on the video on her son’s cell phone. JR stated she saw two boys beating a lady, hitting her in the face and her face was bloody. detective gayle asked if she could see who the boys were. JR stated you could tell who they were. she stated it was the boy “kamare” with the “dreads” and the boy “KJ.” JR identified these known subjects as being identified as defendants kamare lewis and kevin spencer respectively. detective gayle asked if you could see anyone else in the video. JR stated that the two defendants were the only ones hitting the victim, but she stated that it looked like a lot of little kids standing around. detective gayle asked who sent her son the video and she stated the boy “kamare” with the dreads (defendant kamare lewis). detective gayle asked who recorded the video and she stated KA said it was kamare lewis’s phone and someone else had it but he could not or did not identify the person. detective gayle asked when they received the video and she stated about two days after the incident (approximately September 18, 2020). detective gayle asked when the video was deleted. JR stated she told her son to get rid of the video because it doesn’t have anything to do with him and told him and to stay away from kamare lewis. detective gayle asked when did her son showed her the video and she stated he didn’t show her right away maybe a couple of weeks after the homicide.” complaint [emphasis added]
this mother represents the true complexity of what it is to be a human being. on one hand, she shows a strong commitment to society in that she called the authorities and provided them valuable information to assist with the apprehension of the accused. on the other hand, she instructed her child to delete the video. a video that could have valuable information and evidence for the criminal prosecution. the video is something of public interest as to what actually happened during the accuseds’ fatal encounter with ms. ee lee.
why did she take this action?
perhaps, this mother was forced to balance her societal commitment with her family commitment. she appeared to be disgusted by the video and wished for it not to be in her home and in her child’s possession. for that moment, the strong commitment to her family’s and household’s morality took precedent over other thoughts and notions.
thus, there are times when two positive competing moral values can collide.
as its was written in this ee lee series, it may be possible that facebook could be able to retrieve the video for law enforcement. has facebook made any efforts to retrieve the video? will they be a good citizen like the mother in the complaint and assist in ms. ee lee and her family in their pursuit of justice?. or, will facebook act as one of the many individuals who just stood and watched ms. lee being tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered?
in sum, we should be grateful brave individuals come forward to assist in the application of justice. as noted in deuteronomy 16:20, “justice, justice shall you pursue.”
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