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A PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF THE GUY JARREAU, JR. SHOOTING by Joshua Henry, Jan 2011
By JOSHUA HENRY
1) Shorty Short Stop/Umoja BSU/Doin Me ENT = Joshua Henry
2) Artist on 1st & 3rd= Joshua Henry aka Shorty Short Stop
3) Artist on Chorus & 2nd verse= Marty Lesperance aka Marty Jay-R
4) Director Guy Jarreau Jr., Umoja Security/ Co- Director
5) Director & Camera Man, Rosco Film= Daniel Gonzalez
A music-video project for Napa Valley College involving the four men
described above and their respective businesses, ended in the life of one of
the participants being taken by the Vallejo Police department. The life of
Guy Jarreau Jr. was ended on December 11, 2010, when the Vallejo Police
wrongfully shot him as he fled up an Alley off Sonoma Boulevard in Vallejo
These 4 classmates and residents of Vallejo Ca were in the process of
recording a music video for Napa Valley College’s organization named
"Umoja" Umoja means Unity in Swahili and was established at Napa Valley
College to promote unity and fellowship between students of all races. The
music video that was being filmed on the day in question was for a song was
entitled, "I am sick of living like this." This song was created to express anti
violence sentiments, and the frustration of dealing with hard times, and
In the song, Shorty Short Stop says, "Its crazy how this whole situation
turned out. This statement reflects the anxiety involved in coming of age in
the context of the developing consciousness of human existence.
One night in the month of November 2010, I, Shorty Shortstop got into a
verbal altercation with my late brother Guy Jarreau Junior. After we had
went our separate ways that night, I went home and wrote and recorded the
first verse and chorus to this special song It wasn’t until much later did I
come to realize the significance of this song and the pivotal role it would play
in my and our lives.
Soon after the song had been completed, Napa Valley College and the Umoja
organization produced a talent show to highlight the talent of the members
of the college and the local community. It was after the talent show that my
late brother Guy recommended that I enlist Marty Jay-R, the winner of the
Umoja Talent show to sing on the chorus of this special song.
During the recording of the song at our studio, my late brother Guy said,
"This is going to be a Hit!" Guy got excited during Marty Jay-R's session of
recording, and said it within the flow and rhythm of the song. Later when we
were editing the audio portion of the song we decided to keep Guy’s
spontaneous outburst on the song. I believe it was at that very moment that
the song” I am sick of living like this” took on a life of its own.
As I look back at the whole series of events, similar to the late great music
artist Tupac Shakur, when Guy made that spontaneous outburst in perfect
time with Marty Jay-R’s verse, Guy was predicting his own death. I feel God
was giving Guy and everybody present in the studio at the time a sign that
the song “ I am sick of living like this” was going be a hit! A real hit,
metaphorically speaking to the way Guy would end his life and by doing so
transfer his life into the life of the song.
Everyday Guy played this song, he repeatedly played it, so much so, that I
began to hate the song. But my late brother Guy loved this song and believed
in its message and success. I believe my late brother Guy connected so
strongly with this song for the same reason the bond of our friendship was so
strong- through all the obstacles and injustice that we have struggled
through during our respective lives, when we look up out of our pain, we
share the sentiment “we are sick of living like this’.
December 11 2010 was the day we planned to shoot the video for the song.
The location we chose was on Sonoma blvd in Vallejo Ca, right near where
Guy used to reside. Guy wanted to shoot the music video near his residence
because he wanted to shine a light on the positive aspects of the community
in which he lived. Shooting the video close to home also would give him the
best opportunity to protect the members of our production and the
equipment. In hindsight, I believe that Guy cared so strongly about this song
and watched over the members of the music-video production because
unwittingly he would end up giving his life for them.
December 11, 2010, the day my late brother guy was unfairly shot and killed
was a cloudy and overcast day- a perfect day to communicate the vibe of the
song. I shot my part of the Music video in my brother’s room. Later, we got
the camera and crew ready outside to shoot Marty’s portion of the music
video. He had been shooting for no more than 15 minutes before police in plain
clothes arrived and told all of us, "Get the fuck out of here!" essentially
kicking us off the property because we were recording the music video. So we
all decided to leave.
However, more police in plain clothes arrived demanding different orders
which confused me, so I decided to flee, that was until a officer pointed a
gun in my face. I continued to record on my video camera, pointing it in the
direction of my late brother Guy walking away towards the alley. The officers in plain clothes never yelled freeze, stop or anything towards Guy.
Then, I heard two shots fired. While I was being detained on the ground by
the Vallejo Police I didn’t hear any ambulance arrive until approximately
30minutes after the shots were fired. The fact that the ambulance arrived
30 minutes, such a long time, after the gun shots were fired when two
hospitals were situated so close stood out in my mind as was strange.
When I asked whether my brother Guy was okay, the Vallejo police officer
told me to shut up. Then the officer said something that I will never forget
as long as I live "I don’t care if he lives or he dies, I will shoot you if you
I was detained at the Vallejo police station and questioned about the
incident, but the Vallejo Police would still not answer my repeated inquiries
into the condition of my brother Guy. After being released by the Vallejo
police, I called to see what hospital they had taken Guy. I found out and
called immediately. A nurse would not tell me what Guy’s condition was but
gave me the number to the Coroner’s office. At that point I knew in my
heart my brother Guy had died.
After Guy's death, a portion of the music video, featuring the chorus portion,
was played on the news. For a moment I was excited, thinking to myself my
brother’s spirit is really pushing this song to be heard. My late brother Guy
would always tell me, " This was his life on this beat." I wanted to tell my
perspective of everything that happened, however, everyday I have to fight
the feeling that Black men do not have the right and privileges pertaining to
citizenship in the United States of America and the police and media are Evil
Here is the song and the link to the news of the story.
Im on the 1st and 3rd verse
Marty does the hook and 2 verse