25-year-old Chad Merrill was shot and killed on Saturday, July 21st, outside of the Red Rose Restaurant and Lounge in Hellam Township, Pennsylvania, after confronting a man who was hurling racial slurs at Merrill's friend, Jerrell Douglas.
This is Chad Merrill. A 25-year-old who was shot and killed defending his black friend after a degenerate hurled racial slurs at him at a York, Pennsylvania, bar this weekend. Chad represents what is good in this country. Please remember him as a champion of equality. pic.twitter.com/b9vTnue93A— Mase (@MaseLeone) July 23, 2018
Authorities say the confrontation began inside of the bar when James Saylor, 24, began screaming the n-word at Mr. Davis. After being removed from the premises, Saylor fired a shot at Merrill, who was walking in the direction of his pickup truck. According to the Associated Press, Merrill had had no previous contact with Saylor, and appeared to be making his way toward the truck to talk and make peace.
NEW: Here's the mugshot for the man accused of shooting and killing Chad Merrill, 25, early this morning at the Red Rose Restaurant and Lounge in Hellam Twp. Police say James Saylor, 24, is charged with one count criminal homicide. pic.twitter.com/I30hmip0nr— Danielle L. Woods (@DanielleWoodsTV) July 22, 2018
This white man, Chad Merrill, who was a brand new father, is a hero.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) July 23, 2018
While defending a Black man from a white supremacist that was using racial slurs, Chad was shot and killed.
Please tell me how we can help his family. https://t.co/BoGXD1gmMO pic.twitter.com/Xm0lYJMmaK
This is why (NRA/Republicans) allowing guns in bars is a bad, bad, bad idea. We cannot let racism become normalized, good on him for standing up for his fellow man. Chad Merrill should be revered for this act of bravery.— Jay Thomas Kirby (@JayThomasKirby) July 23, 2018
Saylor then tried to drive away, but collided with a Sedan. Saylor got out of the car and fled. He was later arrested, and is currently being held without bail on one count of criminal homicide in the second degree.
Chad’s killer was hurling racial slurs at Chad’s friend Jerrell.— Byrön Stökes 🏆⚽️ 🇨🇴 🇫🇷⭐️⭐️ (@byst) July 23, 2018
Chad defended Jerrell with his life.
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
-John 15:13 NLT
A true ally. Donate.https://t.co/hPVOXvZ6uT#ChadMerrill 🙏🏾💔
I blame @realDonaldTrump 4 this! Trump gave bigots, like the KKK, David Duke, & Charlottesville tiki-torchers, credibility. Now, Chad Merrill (25 w/a 5 month old daughter) is DEAD bc he dared defend a Black man verbally harassed a bigot. That’s #MAGA? I think NOT!!— SarcDiva Eblaque (@Eblaque3) July 23, 2018
This summer has been plagued by racially charged incidents. Earlier this week, Morgan Stanley fired a woman who nearly ran a black couple off the road while shouting racial slurs at them. A white woman in Oakland called the police on a black family having a barbecue in a public park, then cried when the police refused to make an arrest.
Since the 2016 United States general election, CNN reports that hate crimes in the United States have risen to a point unseen before in US History, with over 6,000 reported hate crimes plaguing a staggeringly small amount of police precincts (just under 1500--for reference, there are 17,985 police departments in the United States).
Black woman, #NiaWilson, was randomly targeted & stabbed to death on a train in the Bay area by a white man.— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) July 23, 2018
Her father is begging for justice. My heart goes out to the family.
Americans have seen a 25% rise in hate crimes in the age of Trump.
Growing up in Mississippi, I had to learn to stand my ground against neo-Nazis, KKK members and fanatics who thought hate crimes against LGBT was God’s will.— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) July 21, 2018
Could have imagined that the United States would take such a dark turn where those opinions were mainstream.
These statistics coincide with an alarming tendency toward nationalism and isolationism in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the US Government. Unless something changes drastically with the next election, stories like Chad Merrill's may continue to sound all too familiar.
Merrill leaves behind a newborn son, Layton, a brother, Richard, and mother, Pearl. Richard Merrill has started a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of Chad's funeral. The page can be found here.