Professional UNDEFEATED Garifuna American Boxer EDDIE GOMEZ Demonstrates Support for LEON FORD JR, Who Was Shot and Paralyzed by Pittsburgh Police During a Traffic Stop As A Teenager

Leon Ford Sr, Latonya Green (mother of Leon Ford Jr), Leon Ford Jr and Eddie Gomez at Peace Rally for Leon Ford Jr on SATURDAY March 8th 2014 in Pittsburgh.   Photo from Eddie Gomez Instagram Profile.   www.instagram.com/king_eg

Leon Ford Sr, Latonya Green (mother of Leon Ford Jr), Leon Ford Jr and Eddie Gomez at Peace Rally for Leon Ford Jr on SATURDAY March 8th 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Photo from Eddie Gomez Instagram Profile. www.instagram.com/king_eg

 

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — Professional Garifuna American Boxer EDDIE GOMEZ, has publicly voiced and demonstrated his support for Black Teenager LEON FORD JR, who was shot and paralyzed by Pittsburgh Police during a traffic stop on November 12th 2012.

While some of what took place (and the order in which it took place) are disputed, here are the facts.  LEON FORD JR, 19 years old at the time, was shot multiple times by Pittsburgh police officers during a traffic stop as he drove his Infinity G35X.  He was unarmed.  As a result of the shooting, Mr. Leon Ford Jr is paralyzed below the waist, changing his life forever.  He now faces up to 20 years in prison due to this incident with the Pittsburgh police, facing charges that include aggravated assault, reckless endangerment to police enforcement, resisting arrest and reckless driving, among others.    1

Mr. Eddie Gomez heard about Leon Ford Jr earlier this year, when he saw a video about the case.  In postings, Mr. Gomez writes about the case as he knows it and also explains how he relates to this case.  On his Facebook profile, Eddie Gomez wrote,

Eddie Gomez introducing the Leon Ford Jr case to the public through his Facebook profile.  Photo from Facebook.

Eddie Gomez introducing the Leon Ford Jr case to the public through his Facebook profile. Photo from Facebook.

 

“Leon Ford is a new friend of mine and is the newest member of my team 92 Promotions.  He was shot and paralyzed by cops at the age of 19 after being stopped and asked for his license and registration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His story touches my heart and I personally reached out to Leon and we stayed in contact since yesterday.  This young man was a boxer himself and now is a Fighter for Life and I support him.  Justice for Leon. I’m with you 1000 percent.”  — Eddie Gomez (Facebook–February 18th 2014)    2

On Eddie Gomez’s Instagram profile, he posted:

Eddie Gomez writing about the case of Leon Ford Jr via his Instagram profile.  Screen capture from Instagram.

Eddie Gomez writing about the case of Leon Ford Jr via his Instagram profile. Screen capture from Instagram.

 

“I support Leon and so does Team Gomez/92 Promotions.  (I was) On the road with bro and I checked out Leon Ford Jr’s video.  This young man can be any one of us.  He was stopped by the cops and he gave them all the paper work.  They were looking for a suspect which wasn’t him.  They tried to force him (Leon) out of his car and he ended up driving off with a cop who hopped in the car on the passenger side who shot Leon 4 times in which he ended up paralyzed from the waist down and is facing 20 years in prison.”  — Eddie Gomez (Instagram)

Here is the video regarding the case of Leon Ford Jr.

Watching this video and reading about this case is heartbreaking.  Is this what black men in America have to look forward to?  A life filled with danger lurking around every corner?

In early March 2014, Eddie Gomez and his 92 Promotions team traveled to Pittsburgh to spend time with Leon Ford Jr.  Also, Eddie Gomez also wanted to take part of the Leon Ford Jr Peace Rally, which took place on Saturday, March 8th 2014.

Photo of Eddie Gomez and Leon Ford uploaded onto Eddie Gomez's facebook profile.

Photo of Eddie Gomez and Leon Ford uploaded onto Eddie Gomez’s facebook profile.

Below are a few photos from the Leon Ford Jr rally, where approximately 200 people gathered to rally behind Leon Ford Jr.  At the rally, Leon Ford Jr said, “I’m physically paralyzed, but a lot of you are mentally paralyzed, and while you’re hurting for me I’m hurting for you seriously.  You support people who don’t support you. It’s absolutely insane and disheartening that the system failed me. I wake up every day and I can’t hop up out the bed.  I have to swing my legs and climb in my chair.  Justice needs to be served.  Justice isn’t just about police brutality.  It’s an injustice that we have the worst schools in our communities, we need to get more involved in education. I’m willing to put my life on the line for all of you.  If I have to be the sacrificial lamb to open up everyone’s eyes, I will be that. This is a movement not a moment.”  — Leon Ford Jr.     3

Professional Garifuna American Boxer Eddie Gomez on the top right at Rally for Leon Ford Jr (in the foreground).  Photo from Instagram.

Professional Garifuna American Boxer Eddie Gomez on the top right at Rally for Leon Ford Jr (in the foreground). Photo from Instagram.

Below is a photo of Eddie Gomez posing with Leon Ford Sr and Leon Ford Jr at the Pittsburgh rally for Leon Ford Jr.

Professional Garifuna American Boxer Eddie Gomez on the right, posing with Leon Ford Sr and Leon Ford Jr at the rally for Leon Ford Jr.  Photo from Instagram.

Professional Garifuna American Boxer Eddie Gomez on the right, posing with Leon Ford Sr and Leon Ford Jr at the rally for Leon Ford Jr. Photo from Instagram.

Eddie Gomez posted additional video and photos of his time spent with Leon Ford Jr.  Below are two video clips featuring Eddie Gomez and Leon Ford Jr.

Reporting live with the soldier of life my brother @eastsideleevi_ #TEAMEG @92promotions WE HERE ❗️❗️❗️❗️❗️❗️

A post shared by Eddie Gomez🇭🇳🇺🇸 (@eddie__gomez) on

WATCH THIS,THIS THE REALEST SHIT EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE.. @92promotions ❗️❗️❗️❗️❗️

A post shared by Eddie Gomez🇭🇳🇺🇸 (@eddie__gomez) on

Below is a photo of Eddie Gomez posing with Leon Ford Jr.  He wrote, “(this photo was taken) After i donated my gloves and my outfit from my last fight to Leon Ford.  A young guy like myself who was shot by the cops and is now paralyzed.”  — Eddie Gomez.

Professional Garifuna American Boxer Eddie Gomez poses with Leon Ford Jr in Pittsburgh.  Photo from Facebook.

Professional Garifuna American Boxer Eddie Gomez poses with Leon Ford Jr in Pittsburgh. Photo from Facebook.

 

Inebesei (“Respect” in the Garifuna Language) to Eddie Gomez and his 92 Promotions team for taking the time to support the cause of Leon Ford Jr in Pittsburgh. His next scheduled fight is June 6th 2014 against Francisco Santana at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.   4

Below is the same photo above being posted to Instagram.  Here, Eddie Gomez wrote; “It’s only right I gave my brother Leon Ford Jr my last fight outfit and gloves.  This what it’s about, it ain’t always about yourself.  Make an impact, make a change, we here.”  — Eddie Gomez

Professional Garifuna American Boxer Eddie Gomez on the right, posing with Leon Ford Jr in Pittsburgh.  -- Screen Capture from Instagram.

Professional Garifuna American Boxer Eddie Gomez on the right, posing with Leon Ford Jr in Pittsburgh. — Screen Capture from Instagram.

ABOUT Eddie Gomez

Eddie Gomez is a professional middleweight boxer signed to Golden Boy Promotions.  Currently undefeated, he has sixteen wins, no losses and ten knockouts.  His last fight took place in January 2014 against Daquan Arnett at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  Noted for being signed to Golden Boys Promotions while still in High School, Mr. Gomez also scored the first knockout in this history of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  Born and raised in the Bronx, Eddie Gomez’s parents are both Garifunas from Honduras. Eddie Gomez’s father is from Santa Rosa de Aguan, and his mother is from Sangrelaya, Honduras.

ABOUT The Garifuna People

The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  From this fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.  They are noted for being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men,  1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.   5

In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

UNDEFEATED Professional Garifuna American Boxer Eddie Gomez posing with Leon Ford Jr, who was shot and paralyzed by Pittsburgh police in 2012.  Photo from Instagram.

UNDEFEATED Professional Garifuna American Boxer Eddie Gomez posing with Leon Ford Jr, who was shot and paralyzed by Pittsburgh police in 2012. Photo from Instagram.

 

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.

Notes:

  1. http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2013/12/shot_by_pittsburgh_cops_leon_ford_tells_his_story.html
  2. https://www.facebook.com/godsgift25?fref=ts
  3. http://newpittsburghcourieronline.com/2014/03/10/a-movement-not-a-moment-leon-ford-jr-holds-first-peace-rally/
  4. http://behindthegloves.com/news/eddie-gomez-to-face-francisco-santana-on-june-6-shobox/
  5. Nancie L. Gonzalez, “Sojourners of the Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pg. 21

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