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Deadly Bullies: Sparky & the Thompsons

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ScreenShot / KPRC

The Thompsons on top of John Hernandez // ScreenShot / KPRC

 

Years ago, I was a youth minister in a small town church. As churches go, people took ownership of certain things. There was the music lady who protected the hymnals as if her life depended on it. There was the Bible teacher who refused to allow anyone else to teach. There was the usher that refused to let the congregation touch the offering plates. The sound guy was especially horrific. After an older woman touched the sound system, Sparky cussed her out. In the midst of the assault, she screamed, “Please stop!”

 

As the sun slowly set in the sky, I pumped up the music. The small portable sound system was working great for our youth service. Kids arrived one after another. I was so excited. As the youth danced, I heard tires screech and the door fly open. Before I knew it, Sparky was in my face. After repeatedly telling me he was going to kill me, Sparky pulled back his fist. I screamed, “Please stop!”

 

Still reeling, I went for a run a few days later. While I was on a small road, I saw a truck coming in the distance. Before I knew it, Sparky was out of his truck screaming that I was a dead man. As he grew redder and redder, I was prepared to die. After he stumbled a little bit, I started to run. For a second, I thought he might catch me. I screamed, “Please stop!”

 

Bullies are deadly.

 

I survived.

 

John Hernandez didn’t.

 

After a late night in Houston, John Hernandez was stumbling around drunk. Once Hernandez made the decision to go to Denny’s, there was no turning him around. Fearful that he might get into trouble, his wife refused to let him go alone. There was no one to watch their daughter. So, she came too. The entire family ate the night away. The meal seemed to hit the spot. After dinner, Hernandez was still drunk. Pushing his way outside. Hernandez decided to take a piss on the side of the building. A sheriff’s deputy named Chauna Thompson and her husband Terry were leaving around the same time. Offended by Hernandez’s piss, the Thompsons rushed him. The violent confrontation escalated quickly. Hernandez was pushed around and forced to the ground. Terry Thompson ended up on top of Hernandez and pushed him down with all of his weight. As Hernandez’s wife screamed for the couple to stop, their three-year-old watched in horror. Chauna Thompson helped to restrain Hernandez and kept screaming orders at him. Too drunk to fight back, Hernandez struggled to breath. Some of his last words were, “Please stop!”

 

Eventually, Hernandez lost consciousness. As his body changed colors and life drained out, the couple refused to stop. The Thompsons treated Hernandez as a threat even when he was practically dead. Realizing that an injustice was going on, people tried to record what was going on. Advocates for the Thompsons threatened anyone with a camera. By the time law enforcement arrived, Hernandez was dying. In the midst of the chaos, Hernandez’s wife still begged, “Please stop!”

 

The little girl stares at her toys. Strangers keep coming through the house. She can’t find her daddy. Nightmares fill her head. Understanding as much as she can, the little girl whimpers, “Please stop!”

 

Bullies are deadly.

 

Sometimes they’re successful.

 

Sometimes they’re not.

 

John Hernandez is dead.

 

Terry and Chauna Thompson murdered him.

 

To anyone who would defend theses bullies/pieces of shit…

 

For the love of God…

 

“Please stop!”

 

Amen.

 

 

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