This Police Officer’s Response to Alton Sterling’s Death Is Essential Viewing

Nakia Jones is a police officer with the Warrensville Heights Police Department in Ohio. On Wednesday, she streamed her reaction to the news of the death of Alton Sterling—a black man who was, according to a witness video, pinned to the ground by Baton Rouge police officers and shot Tuesday morning. The now-viral Facebook Live video by Jones, who is black and the mother of six children, is powerful and forceful.

As an officer, Jones explains that she is sensitive to criticism against men and women who risk their lives every day to serve and protect the public. And as a black woman, she says that she wanted to work in a black community to help make a difference—though she witnesses heartbreaking violence daily, she says, police should never be the ones perpetrating it. After she watched the graphic video of Sterling’s death, she explains that she could not stay silent.

Sterling, 37, was shot and killed by two white police officers who responded to an anonymous tip that a man selling CDs outside a convenience store had a gun and was acting in a threatening manner. According to an account from store owner Abdullah Muflahi, Sterling’s gun was concealed (and Louisiana is an open-carry state) and his hands were not near it. By Muflahi’s telling, the police were “aggressive,” and in the two videos that emerged they are seen fatally shooting Sterling after they’ve pinned him to the ground.

“I got to see what you all see. If I wasn’t on the police officer and I wasn’t on the inside, I would be saying, ‘Look at this racist stuff. Look at this.’ And it hurt me,” Jones says in her video.

“If you are white, and you are working in a black community, and you are racist, you need to be ashamed of yourself,” Jones continues in an impassioned plea. “You stood up there and took an oath. If this is not where you want to work at, then you need to take your behind [and leave]. I decided to work in an African American community because I am African American and I wanted to make a difference.”

“How dare you stand next to me in the same uniform and murder somebody? How dare you!” she cried. If you’re an officer who is “afraid of people that don’t look like you,” she said, “you have no business in that uniform. Take it off.”

A day after Sterling was shot dead by police, Minnesota police shot and killed Philando Castile after pulling him over for, reportedly, a busted taillight. Castile was the 123rd black person killed by police this year; their deaths are among the hundreds of black lives lost at the hands of police in recent years. The Department of Justice Civil Rights Division has opened investigations into both killings.

Shiri Appleby Was Told She Was Too Flat for ‘Baywatch’

Shiri Appleby has been acting since age four when she appeared in a Raisin Brain commercial. Now, after cultivating an insanely impressive IMDB filmography—from “kid #1” on Who’s the Boss? to 61 episodes of Roswell to a ten-episode stint on ER—Appleby is starring as TV producer Rachel Goldberg on Lifetime’s UnREAL, a series that plays on the behind-the-scenes drama of a Bachelor-like show. It’s a grittier, darker character for the actress, who sees her recent credits as a new chapter in her three-decades-long career. (Need more proof? See her four-episode arc on Girls, which involved a deeply memorable if not disturbing sex scene with Adam Driver.) Here, as part of our recurring Explain Your IMDB series, Appleby recounts her memories from some of her most memorable roles (including a TV movie called Pizza My Heart.)

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

I Love You To Death, Millie, Girl In Park (1990)

“Lawrence Kasdan directed it. It was a scene with Tracey Ullman and I was a girl in the park. I remember my mom telling me it was a big deal movie because of who the actors were. Tracey Ullman was sitting in the park after finding out her husband has cheated on her, and this blonde boy and I ran over to her and asked if everything was okay. I thought I was a really serious actor and took it so seriously.”

Doogie Howser, M.D., Molly Harris (1993)

“It was a really big job for me. I remember auditioning on the 20th Century Fox lot. I knew it was a big deal because I had auditioned for it two or three times before that. I was about 11 years old and, to me, it was like starring in Gone With The Wind. It was a really fantastic work experience. There were a lot of scenes for me to play and I had to do a lot of emotions. I remember feeling really sad when the job was over because I felt like I really grew a lot. I know I was 11 years old, but I really felt that.”

ER, Ms. Murphy/Dr. Daria Wade (1994, 2008-09)

“I was in the pilot of ER, I played a 15-year-old pregnant girl they were treating. And then in the final season they were casting for interns. I had literally just been in the actual E.R. because I broke my pelvis and tailbone and told my agent, ‘I really want to be on ER‘ So then I was in the entire last season of the show. It was amazing. It was like being in graduate school for television. I learned that this is how you do television at the highest level.”

Baywatch, Jennie (1995)

This Underground Street Artist Is Challenging Global Beauty Ideals

Kashink, a street artist from Paris, has a been drawing a mustache onto her upper lip for the past two years. “I wear it every single day,” says the artist, who has become one of the world’s better known street artists for her large-scale, diversity-conscious murals in Paris, Miami, Morocco, New York, and Los Angeles. “It started as a kind of alter ego to wear to openings or performances or parties. Little by little I realized I wanted to wear it more often. Two symmetrical lines on a female face are accepted on the eyebrows or as eyeliner, but if you drop these same lines [lower] on the same face, it becomes the opposite of how a woman is supposed to look. It’s really interesting to question these codes.”

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Kashink’s latest mural in Paris was commissioned by Amnesty International as part of their “My Body, My Rights” project. “The idea of the campaign is to be able to reach a broader audience about sex roles and reproductive rights,” Kashink says. “It also has to do with gender representation. The first idea I had was to revisit classical paintings such as ‘La Grande Odalisque’ with the idea that bodies are represented a certain way in art. I thought it was interesting to present them in a way that was the opposite of the originals.”

The artist, who got involved with street art at age 17 and began creating wall-sized pieces at 25, has finally established a recognizable aesthetic at 34. Her re-imagining of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s celebrated nude form employs her trademark bright colors to render the woman race neutral. “I’m working on human diversity and how beautiful it is,” she says. “The fact that my subjects have no defined skin color is a great way to share these different aspects.” She’s also added a message to the piece—the words “mon corps, mes droits” (my body, my rights) appear as if coming from the woman’s mouth. “Ingres made her skin look perfect and smooth. I thought it was interesting to completely change these aspects,” the artist says of her creature’s comfort with her spotted skin and Picasso-esque rows of eyes. “We’re so bombarded with images of women looking good that we don’t even question this anymore,” she says. “It’s very interesting that the imaginary skin color I’m doing is a way to free my art from the origin of my characters.”

In addition to disturbing the notion of beauty, Kashink also wants to give back to her community. She regularly involves students in her projects and enlisted a group of them to help with the Odalisque mural. As for being a woman in an art scene that is primarily comprised of men? “I get that question a lot,” Kashink says. “There are less women in art in general. It’s very easy to name ten male painters who marked art history. It’s very hard to name five female painters who marked art history. It’s not specific to street art. Women are expected to be useful in society. They’re supposed to be raising kids, taking care of their homes, having a career that’s effective. Art, in a way, is kind of useless. Art doesn’t change diapers, cook, or clean the house.”

There is a second factor that comes into play with street art: the inherent risk. Although Kashink paints a lot of commissioned murals that are completely legal, she continues to create pieces outside the law. And despite recently being brought in by the Paris police for tagging trucks, the artist remains undeterred. “I’ve always been a risk-taker so I’m not scared of that,” she says. “But maybe taking risks is not something women are encouraged to do and they should be.”

To see more of Kashink’s work follow her on Instagram.