Civil Rights attorney Lee Merritt and activist Shaun King raised a $60,000 reward for information leading Harris County Sheriff deputies to Jazmine Barnes’ killer.
On Twitter where he has 1.1 million followers, King typed “Urgent. All Hands On Deck.” His posts about Barnes’ murder, the reward and tips he’s receiving got thousands of retweets, including several from celebrities
King and Merritt said they are getting and giving authorities tips every hour.
“We have one person who says they were an eyewitness who (was) able to provide a more clear description of the truck and the suspect,” Merritt said.
Merrit and King got involved believing the attack is a hate crime. In a case of racial violence in Virginia, the duo raised a reward to make sure no tips went overlooked and saw success, Merritt said.
Now working for Barnes’ father as an advisor, Merritt hopes it helps again.
“This was a shooting that had no motivation from road rage to some previous relationship between the shooter and the victims,” Merritt said. “The only thing we know is the shooter was white. The victims were black and they were ambushed.”
While investigators did not mention hate crime in their evening briefing, they confirmed working with activists.
“We look forward to continuing to work with them and any leads they help develop,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. “We appreciate any and all assistance.”
No matter the motive in the attack, justice for Jazmine motivates.
Merritt said his team is pushing not just for an arrest but for authorities to use every resource to determine if race played any part in Barnes’ murder.