Pop Smoke’s mother Audrey Jackson says while she wants the men who killed her son to face the penalty for their actions, she’s still understanding and empathetic towards their families, who have basically lost their sons by virtue of them going to jail.
Last Friday made it a year since Pop Smoke, whose real name is Bashar Barakah Jackson, was killed on the morning of February 19, 2020, at the home he was renting in Hollywood Hills after five men broke in and shot him. He later died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
With his death also died a promising career for a young man many pinned high hopes on. Pop Smoke was only 20 years old at the time of his death but is credited as being at the forefront of Brooklyn’s exploding drill movement with hits like “Welcome to the Party”, and “Dior.”
Four persons were arrested for Pop Smoke’s killing included two teenagers. They are Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18. They face the death penalty for their involvement in the criminal enterprise, which police say has gang ties.
The other two are ages 17 and 15 years old but have not been named because they are adults.
The Rapper’s mother, however, was unable to say whether she is able to forgive the men, although she says she understands the pain that those young men put their family in along with her family.
“For me, it’s neither pace, they’ve done something and there should be repercussion for what they’ve done you know but my brain goes to their households that have been disturbed, mine has been damaged…but their moms and dads too had to have some stuff. It’s not about forgiveness per se but understanding,” she said.
As fans remembered the slain Rapper, others recalled their own theory as to what led to his death. Some fans theorize that Pop Smoke and his friend mistakenly shared his address while posting photos of a pile of cash, luxury goods on the night before he was killed. Stories shared by his friends Mike Dee also showed the Rapper’s address which can be easily found using Google Maps.
Police later said they were investigating whether that fatal mistake could have led to the men breaking into his house and killing him. Thousands of Pop Smoke’s fans saw the photos and stories tagged with location etc. “..it also extends the pool of people that would have known where he was at and could have targeted him for a variety of reasons,” Robbery Homicide Division Captain Jonathan Tippet said.
He also added that police were perplexed by the fact that while the incident appeared as a home invasion, items that might be taken in a robbery were not taken. He said, “so that’s why we’re not really saying that it was a robbery or that he was the intended target.”
Meanwhile, his mom Audrey and his dad Greg Jackson have become gun violence activists as they seek to bring awareness to how gun violence destroys families. In an emotional PSA, she spoke of never getting to see her “Shar” bounding up her steps, dancing with her, or posing in her bedroom mirror and fooling around.
In the meantime, the murder suspects have entered pleas but are awaiting trial. Fans continue to mourn the Rapper and have questions as to why he was killed.