West Louisville man pleads for change in his neighborhood after father is carjacked at gunpoint

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A West Louisville man is using Facebook to demand change in his neighborhood.

On Wednesday, Jason Buckner posted an emotional video to Facebook, detailing his father’s near-death experience, while challenging the Black Lives Matter movement and asking people to reconsider their calls to defund the police.

In the video, Buckner said his father Willie, 68, was carjacked at gunpoint outside Simmons College on Dumesnil Street by three African American teenagers. He said the teens shot at his father three times before driving off in his black 2017 Nissan Maxima.

Posted by Jason Buckner on Wednesday, July 15, 2020

“They put a gun to his head and said, ‘Give me the keys,‘” Buckner told WAVE 3 News Thursday afternoon. “He threw the keys into a yard and told them, ‘You get them yourself.‘ And he took that as an opportunity to walk away. As he walked away, one of them got upset as they were getting into the car, and as they were driving off, they started shooting at him.”

Minutes after the crime, Buckner said his father called to tell him what happened and that he had not been hit by any of the shots. Still, the call made an impact.

“What ends up going through your mind is the realization that that could’ve been it,” Buckner said. “That could’ve been it.”

That’s when Buckner opened Facebook and recorded the video.

Buckner told WAVE 3 News he has been out at the protests in downtown Louisville on several occasions and was ‘romanticized by their passion.' However, since his father was victimized, he said his view on the city and the movement have changed.

“I had went to a few of those protests on Broadway,” Buckner said. “I was in it. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t have a megaphone, but I’m thinking to myself, ‘We are sitting in front of the police, yelling absurdities, saying whatever we’re saying. But at the same time, if there’s a cat in the tree, if there’s a militia at the door, you’re calling the police.' So let’s cut that out. Let’s start to partner with our police and let’s start to work with them because we absolutely need that for our society for law and order.”

As of Thursday evening, Buckner’s video has been viewed more than 200,000 times by people like Sara Turney and Carol Clark.

Turney is the founder of Elva’s Kitchen Initiative, a business that helps provide support to people who live in South and West Louisville. She said teenagers also held her 12-year-old son at gunpoint and stole her car in June, which had more than $1,500 worth of supplies inside for Elva’s.

“Seeing this impact the community as a whole, watching my neighbors suffer, watching strangers that I don’t know reach out to me and say, ‘Hey these people hurt me too, what can we do to stop this?’ It’s disheartening,” Turney said, “but it only makes me want to work harder for this city.”

Clark told WAVE 3 News her son was pistol-whipped and carjacked Tuesday afternoon outside a repair shop on 18th Street and Hale Avenue.

“It makes me feel unsafe,” Clark said. “It makes me feel that I have to watch my back every time that I come out, whether it’s walking, driving, riding the bus, and I think as a community, we’re going to have to come together collectively and be able to have a dialogue where the community can feel safe.”

On Thursday, Clark, Turney, and Buckner came together to share their stories. For Buckner, it’s a story he knows could’ve ended much worse. Twenty-four hours later, the thought of losing his father is still stuck in his head. That thought is changing his view of Louisville, but fueling him to make his hometown better.

“I feel like we have to step up as men to start to protect our own within our own communities,” Buckner said. “We can partner with Mayor Fischer. We can partner with the Police Department. I don’t care what it is, but we have to start protecting our own lives.”

Louisville Metro Police Department spokesperson Dwight Mitchell told WAVE 3 News the department is aware of several carjackings in the southwest portion of Jefferson County in the past few weeks. Mitchell said the crimes appear to have been committed by juveniles, based on victims’ descriptions.

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