"IfTheyGunnedMeDown" hashtag creator speaks out

CJ Lawrence Twitter
Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 11:51pm

The hashtag #iftheygunnedmedown is trending on social media following the shooting death of an unarmed teenager in Missouri.

Mississippi lawyer CJ Lawrence started it after expressing concern about the media portrayal of Michael Brown, 18, particularly a picture circulating online showing the teen holding up what some believe to be a gang sign, and a comment left of a picture of Brown lying dead in the street.

"The tweet that the gentleman made was 'Look at him still lying in the streets with his pants sagging. I don't feel sorry for him at all.' And I was shocked by that," said Lawrence.

"We all deserve to be treated with human rights, all deserve to be treated with common dignity and all deserve not to be shot down in the streets no matter what we have on, no matter what our classification is, no matter what our education level is," he added.

In response, Lawrence tweeted a picture with two images of himself. One shows him speaking at his graduation alongside President Bill Clinton. The other shows him holding a bottle of Hennessy and the hashtag #iftheygunnedmedown.

Since that tweet, the hashtag has exploded on social media and has sparked a global conversation, with people sharing their own pictures.

Lawrence said he hopes people get the point that one's life cannot be captured by a single image.
 

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