Malik Jackson’s family calls for his name to be remembered
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The family of Malik Jackson is speaking out about his violent death.
Jackson was stabbed to death on May 27. Tony McDade, the suspect in the stabbing, was later killed by police.
Jackson’s family feels Malik’s death is being overlooked while national groups, celebrities, and former Presidents, are memorializing his alleged killer.
Malik Jackson was 21-years-old when he died. His family is questioning whether the suspect in his stabbing, McDade, should have been out of jail in the first place.
Malik's aunt, Abigail Jackson, wears a necklace with "LLM" on it.
"It stands for Long Live Malik," said Jackson.
Jackson says Malik was loved by many.
“Malik was a good kid. Malik didn’t get in any trouble. Malik smiled a lot. He really didn’t talk,” said Jackson. “He loved to fish, he worked at Five Guys. From what his boss would tell me, Malik would be there before they would even be there, he’d be sitting in the parking lot waiting on them to come in and unlock the door!”
Abigail Jackson said she had concerns about McDade when he moved in next to her sister, Jennifer, in early 2020.
She says she knew McDade in the past, and did not want her sister involved with him. Jackson says she received multiple calls from friends over the last couple of months saying they wouldn’t be visiting her sister’s home anymore, due to McDade’s frequent presence.
Jackson said she became concerned about McDade's relationship with her sister; she detailed numerous text messages from McDade to Jennifer that went unanswered on May 26th, beginning at 4:00 a.m.
"12:22 p.m., forever with you is where I wanna be Jen. 12:24 again, p.m. I'll kill for u and u. 12:32 p.m. Jen I'll destroy anyone for the woman I'm in love with," said Jackson, reading the messages.
Jackson says a fight broke out around 5:00 p.m. on May 26. She says McDade went into Jackson’s apartment, and Malik got involved.
According to Abigail, Malik told McDade he needed to leave, and could not disrespect his mother in her own home.
Malik then went outside; Abigail says McDade followed with a knife. She says other members of the family and bystanders became involved; that fight was the subject of a video posted on Facebook by McDade.
Abigail says Jennifer called 911 after the fight, but ultimately told dispatchers police were not needed. When a family member told Abigail about the fight about two hours later, she immediately called 911 again.
"I told them that she was mentally ill, she was very disturbed, and she had a knife and a gun," said Jackson.
Jackson says she was at her sister's home by 8:00 that night and met two TPD officers there.
“They did go and knock on her [McDade’s] door. She didn’t answer,” said Jackson.
Abigail took her sister and her sister's 13 year-old son to her home outside of the City limits. When texting with Malik, she says he told her he would not be going back to his mother's home that night.
However, Malik frequently went to his mother's home in the morning, before heading to work. Abigail believes that's when he was stabbed by McDade.
Jackson says one other neighbor called 911 later that night around 10:00 p.m. about McDade; she says police came again, but nothing came of that visit either.
Attorneys with Brooke LeBouef are representing the Jackson family. The firm has filed a notice informing multiple government entities that they are looking into theories of liability.
“We believe this is a tragedy that could’ve been prevented, and we want to investigate and bring to light the mistakes that we made along the way, that could’ve saved this young man’s life,” said attorney John Lease.
McDade had been charged with aggravated assault weeks earlier.
"I feel like if she was out on felony probation, and she committed a crime on May 4th, why did she have a bond?" said Jackson.
Abigail says it's been difficult to see the national recognition surrounding McDade's death, including a mention by former President Barack Obama.
"To hear President Obama speak on something that he clearly didn't have any knowledge about isn't fair. I don't think that the celebrities are fair. I look at everything that's going on with
George Floyd and the other cases, people will take something and turn it into something that it's really not," said Jackson.
Brooks LeBouef attorneys are requesting an apology from the former president, who said the name "Tony" in an online town hall, titled "Reimagining Policing in the Wake of Continued Police Violence."
“We believe that if President Obama knew exactly what happened on May 26th and May 27th, he would not have made those statements of Tony McDade. And we believe an apology should be stated to the family of Malik Jackson,” said attorney Paul Aloise.
Abigail Jackson says she's hoping to hear more people say McDade's name.
"Malik Shakur Jackson. He was really a good kid," said Jackson. "And I still have the 10 dollars that he always asked for. I will always keep that 10 dollars."
WCTV reached out to each government entity regarding the notice filed; none had a comment, but TPD said the investigation remains open and active.
The Akbar Law Firm is representing the McDade family; they released a statement on the family’s behalf.
“Wanda McDade and the McDade family continue to express condolences and sympathy
to the Jackson family for the loss of Malik as they continue to grieve the loss of their
family member Tony. Both tragedies should have and could have been avoided. Publicly
disputing the events that ultimately led up to both deaths will not bring them back.
Most of the details provided by the Jackson family come as no surprise because Tony
discussed his relationship with Jennifer Jackson, the toxic nature of that relationship,
and the fight where he was beaten by Jackson’s family members on his Facebook live
posting the night before.
Most of the over 8,000 people that have donated to the family of Tony McDade and the
thousands of other people who have mentioned Tony’s name in this discussion about
racial equality and the excessive use of force by law enforcement when it comes to the
black community most likely watched that video. Tony’s lifelong trauma and the resulting
mental health issues resonate with so many. The fact is that Tony needed an officer to
show up willing to help him instead of putting 5 bullets in him also resonates with many.
Having that discussion does not take away from the tragedy of Malik Jackson being
This story does not have a happy ending. Two families are without their loved ones and
we can only hope to understand how continuous systematic failures in the mental health
system, the criminal justice system and society in general led to this tragic and
senseless loss of life. We need to understand these failures, recognize these failures,
and unite with a commitment to be better as a community and hold these systems
responsible and accountable for positive change.”
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