The Alford Lewis case and how “everyone makes mistakes”.

News & SocietyNews

  • Author Marina Jones
  • Published November 28, 2023
  • Word count 600

A young black man’s videos of him sucker punching white males in a park in Houston went viral. When interviewed by a reporter from a local newspaper, Alford Lewis said he punched his unsuspecting victims from behind for likes on YouTube. He then brushed off his assaults with a callous remark - “everyone makes mistakes”. The reporter took Alford’s words at face value.

A few days later, the truth came out in a Houston court. Alford Lewis was not making these videos just for YouTube likes. Alford Lewis had a gun and threatened at least one victim with shooting him if the victim didn’t hand over his cell phone. When the man refused, Alford handed his gun to his videographer in crime, Kingston Miker, while he punched and choked the victim. The second victim, who was also attacked from behind while taking a stroll in the same park, suspected Alford had a gun.

Both Alford Lewis and Kingston Miker laughed when the second victim said he didn’t find it funny. Kingston Miker later denied filming what we now know were armed robberies. He claimed that all he did was upload the videos to YouTube because he had a large following.

The article about the assaults went viral with headlines such as “Teen admits to randomly sucker-punching strangers at Texas park for social media attention”.

We can only suspect that when a news reporter knocked on Alford Lewis’ door, Alford realized he was getting more attention than he had bargained for. Alford lied by omission, not mentioning that he had a gun and that what was shown on the videos was not just him sucker-punching strangers in a park for social media attention. The incidents were armed robberies in progress. He then tried to brush the severity of the incidents away with “everyone makes mistakes”. Kingston Miker denied his involvement in the crimes, even though he was later identified as the person who was filming and holding the gun while Alford beat up one of the victims.

When the realization started to sink in for Alford and Kingston that they had just filmed and posted the crimes they had committed on social media, they knew they had made mistakes, as in “Everyone makes mistakes”. Self-preserving defenses to hide the gravity of one’s mistakes from others, but also from oneself, kicked in. Alford re-framed the incidents by telling a reporter that the assaults and filming of them was only done for social media likes.

Alford further attempted to minimize what he had done by saying “I hugged the man and shook his hand”. But under what circumstances would someone who just got attacked hug his assailant and shake the hand that tried to rob him? The second victim suspected Alford had a gun. The victim played the part Alford wanted him to play in the hopes that doing so would save his life. This is akin to making a “confession” under extreme duress.

An initial article about the assaults with the headline “Teen admits to sucker-punching strangers for social media attention” was published. A headline like that certainly attracts readers, just as Alford and Miker posted their videos to attract viewers on YouTube. The unfortunate fact is that the teen’s words were taken at face value and then published. No further questions asked.

Everyone makes mistakes.

Alford Lasean Lewis, 19, was charged with assault with bodily injury and aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. He was booked into jail on Monday, October 30, 2023.

Kingston Freedom Miker, 18, has also been charged, but authorities said he is not in custody.

Marina Jones is a writer. She writes about what catches her eye and tries to offer a keen insight in why humans do what they do.

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