Just as I settled into the idea that the world can’t get any more… Black Mirror, I find myself on the phone receiving the most mind-boggling personal news I’ve received in a while.
Patric Ferguson, a young man I went to college with, murdered a man and confessed to the crime!?
A big “seriously, what the actual fuck!?” moment from me to be sure.
I was in Spanish 101 and 102 with this guy, he dated a good friend of mine. We had different majors, but by senior year, we were huddled together cracking jokes in the back of Dr. Jeeter’s Chemistry class, laughing to keep ourselves awake in the 8am class. Dude’s a good dude. I actually saw him at the 2019 homecoming, our class’s five year anniversary. Told me he was doing well, working with the Memphis PD. I was happy for him, and he looked happy.
Then this out of the blue news about a murderous, kidnapping, on-duty cop? Wild. Absolutely wild.
When I think about it, I still haven’t completely digested the reality. It’s worsened by just how dumb the whole thing was handled. Listen to how goddamn stupid this is:
1. Patric and the victim, potentially Robert Howard, knew each other directly
2. Patric kidnapped Robert in his squad car
3. While Patric was on duty
4. Patric shot him Robert in a public area, with video evidence
5. Shot him with his own personal (and registered) gun
6. Patric wiped down the get away car with towels and had the bloody things still in the car
7. Patric’s recent search history was about removing DNA evidence (directions which he clearly didn’t follow)
I mean, come on. Has Patric never seen an episode of NCIS!? Like, bruh.
There’s also notes that he bought chains and cinder blocks sometime earlier. So what, he was going to kill this guy and throw him to the bottom of the Mississippi River? It appears that murdering someone scared him and he scrambled. He forgot all his Memphis PD training about tense situations, what they look for in evidence, etc. Scrambled, panicked, and even brought in an accessory to the murder.
Again, it’s just absolutely shocking to’ve known someone for a few years, for them to turn out to be… crazy?
And this brings up another point. I knew Patric. Maybe at arm’s length and only during social exchanges or classes, but he was always polite, pleasant, quick with a smile, and I honestly couldn’t imagine him hurting someone. The Patric I knew was a good man – especially the guy I knew through the insight of the friend he dated.
He apparently confessed to the murder as well. Was this a massive mental break? Did Patric experience some sort of psychological meltdown that led him to a violent act? Moreover, how can this be verified? Surely that’s something they do in the interrogation process, right? Whatever the process is called, I want to believe there are specialists and psychologists present to evaluate his mental integrity.
What I don’t want to hear even a whisper of is black-on-black violence. Go ahead and shut that down before it even gets going.