Krystle May Statler: “CONTROL”


On April 1, 2019 at 9:48am, the LA County Medical-Examiner Coroner reports online case #2019–02451, the homicide of 30-year-old black male, Brian Leslie Statler, Jr., caused by a gunshot wound of head

*On April 1, 2019 sometime after 11:00am, searching case #2019–02451 yields 0 results and hasn’t been accessible since


Because there is no tape,
because Inglewood officers don’t wear body cams,
because it happened at the Church of Scientology,
the unnamed officers who killed him are freely employed,
police reports, coroner’s reports, evidence, statements,
are conveniently on hold for their investigation,
leaving his family with nothing other than
the certainty that he is dead.

On the Sunday after his murder,
I met with Detectives Michael Han and Cesar Jurado
who “forgot” to give their condolences
as I sat in the interrogation room,
instead immediately questioning BJ’s
              relationship with our parents
              drug use
              arrest history
              mental health
              intentions of being at the Church
as if any of the above could justify two of their officers
killing him.

When it becomes time to ask my questions,
I am muted before I can finish,
did he make it to the hos— “we can’t divulge that information”
why did they shoot him in the he— “we can’t divulge that information”
why wasn’t his family notified the day he was kill— “we can’t divulge that information”
but how— “we can’t divulge that information”
who were the offic— “we can’t divulge that information.”

Later that same week, his body was released for cremation,
but, his Bentley, his belongings, the truth
remain locked in their control,
still treating him like a criminal,
forcing what’s left of him
that they’ve tried to erase
to be a prisoner in their system, yet again,
because he existed.

(Author photo by Malakhi Simmons)

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