The Cause (Short-Story)

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Kwame Kodjoe, 34 , writer and activist. Kelsea Swanton, 28, psychologist and activist .


Seated across from my friend, confidant, and fellow activist. We are waiting for our meals to be given to us by the waitress, before the protest. With a big smile on my face, I jokingly tell Kelsea:

“You better eat up, you don’t want to go to jail on an empty stomach.”

Usually, she would laugh when I made a joke like that, she loves how I could bring light such a dark situation. But, she didn’t laugh this time, I knew she was still upset, she cried all day when the verdict was announced for the cops who shot the unarmed mentally-challenged boy 22 times. I noticed 15 minutes after the waitress delivered our food, that Kelsea still has not eaten a single thing on her plate. I reached across the large table that was wedged between us in the diner, grabbed her hand, looked deep into her beautiful green-emerald colored eyes, and tell her:

“We are not going to stop fighting, not until we get justice.”


“I can’t believe that they actually murdered a fucking child in plain sight, and that racist all-white jury said not guilty; I bet they wouldn’t of said that if five black cops murdered a white boy who was mentally challenged .”

I was so emotionally down after the trial, that my close friend, Kwame encouraged me to go to a protest with him. That was a couple of days ago. Now we are sitting across from each other, in this classic 1950’s style cafe in downtown, Seattle. A few blocks from where the protest is to take place. It is in front of the federal court, in the city hall area, where the verdict was announced. Kwame “cracks” a joke, I usually laugh at most of his jokes, but right before a protest, for the brutal and violent murder of a child is a little too inappropriate for me at this moment. Kwame is a wonderful friend, his big brown almond shaped eyes look deeply into my green eyes, he grabs my right hand from across the cafe’s large vintage looking brown table, that looks like an exact replica from the tv show “Happy Days”, and whispers to me:

“We are not going to stop fighting, not until we get justice.”

I am not sure I believe him, even though I so much want to…

The story is fiction, but it was inspired by a real murder trial in San Francisco. I went to the protest and where friends and family gathered to demand justice for Alex Nieto. The story it is based on is in the link below:


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