Man Gets Drunk, Steals Car, Kills Grandmother on Her Way to Church

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Gertrude Price, 65, was a God-fearing family woman.  She spent much of her time at church, and her children had come to depend on her as a rock for their family.  That rock was stolen by the careless acts of a 22-year old man who didn’t value his life or anyone else’s.

Jonathan Ross of Kansas City has been accused of driving a stolen car more than 80 miles an hour while intoxicated when he ran a red light and hit Gertrude’s car.  Price was ejected from the vehicle and died shortly thereafter.  Her daughter, Grace Price and another passenger, Kenneth Smith, were also in the car.  Grace is expected to recover, and Kenneth is still in critical condition.  After the accident, Ross tried to run away from the scene and was captured by police shortly thereafter.

“I haven’t had a great opportunity to grieve just yet. It’s all very surreal,” her daughter, Nicole Price, said to NBC Action News.

Not only was Price’s car hit, but another man’s car was hit as well.  The driver of that vehicle, Roy Brooks, is in serious condition.  At the time of the accident, Gertrude was on her way to paint the bathrooms of her church.

“When we were growing up she had us in church every time the doors opened. It’s not surprising that she was at the church and painting and doing some work at the church when had the accident,” said her daughter Nicole.

Gertrude left a legacy of seven children, 30 grandchildren and 22 great-grand children.   They’ve all lost their precious matriarch due to the irresponsibility of a man who’d never been taught to respect the lives of other people.   Ross, for his role in this, is now facing charges of (among other things) second degree murder, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, driving with a revoked license and stealing a motor vehicle.

When I hear the story of Gertrude Ross, I think about my own mother.  She also loves her church and serves as an invaluable part of our family structure.   When I think about Jonathan Ross, I think about the 21-year old who shot bullets into a house and hit a three-year old boy in the head just a few weeks ago.  This story, for some, is a grim reminder of the disturbing contrasts that exist within urban America, where good citizens find themselves terrorized by lost young men who’ve been manufactured by corporate America’s hip-hop culture to become menaces to society.

When I see young brothers living their lives with the kind of reckless abandon of Jonathan Ross (believe me, there are others like him – good men who’ve been convinced to not give a damn), my mind retraces their upbringing and wonders what went wrong.  I think about the days when this man wasn’t the killer that he is today and was instead an innocent little boy with volumes of potential.  Then, I look around and see massive amounts of black male unemployment, horrible educational systems, a flawed criminal justice system and music (like Lil Wayne among others), that repeatedly tells them to murder each other and consume deadly amounts of drugs and alcohol.  After seeing the cultural tornado under which many of our black men are born, it’s not hard to imagine thousands of scenarios around the nation where little black boys are processed and morphed into the kinds of men who destroy the live of others.

By standing to the side and allowing this culture to marinate without disturbance, our entire community has failed both Gertrude Price and Jonathan Ross.  Women like Gertrude should be in a community where they are safe, and Jonathan should have gotten the guidance he needed to NOT grow up and kill other human beings.  It was a mixture of racist systems, corporate greed and community apathy that created the scenario that led to Gertrude’s death.  We all played a role in this tragedy.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.



  • Anonymous

    This one tragedy can be multiplied not only across America but around the world. When we look at the big picture we might envision psychological problems that are phenomenal. 

    Drinking alcohol is only one way to destroy oneself as he tries to make all the sad, bad feelings inside his head go away. Alcohol and prescription drugs are the easiest way to destroy ourselves, but we should understand that more powerful, much wealthier and dominant people are profiting from the woes of the world. Everyone who dies or becomes physically handicapped because of these generally unseen reasons can now be labeled as “Collateral Damage” thanks to our “special” tragedy naming group.

    It’s difficult to take all of the negative variables we are witnessing and string them together and blame them all of a specific group of people because it seems too unbelievable. Much of our social lives seem normal and traditionally copied. We simply copy everything we have been taught and pass it to the next generation, but what we except as a social culture worth copying is in fact long overdue for many changes.

    THE STORY OF A GRANDMOTHER literally slaughtered by an ignorant fellow down in his emotional state, and suffering his own demons, is overshadowed by millions of starving men women and children around the world. A Haiti that has thousands of women raped, The Congo, which has staggering rape, murder, and young boys slaying men with machete and machine guns. Everywhere we look the tragedies are stacking up high. The Palestinians suffering death and destruction at the hands of the Jews, (people we once felt empathy for because we heard about Hitler’s reign). Now look at them.
    AS FOR AFRICANS (Blacks) turning on each other. The Anglo-Elite use a number of processes to turn people against each other and cause them to suffer and even murder each other. We see it in every corner of the world where people who were supposed to be friends and family, are divided and now attacking each other. It’s enough to drive already disturbed people totally insane. The solution for some is to grab something to inebriate or further numb their brains. The rich make it very easy to do this as they continue to profit from our woes. (Our Good Leadership Is Kept Silenced By An Anglo-Elite media, as They Prefer The People Not To Know –Anything! That Might Enlighten Them and Cause them To Rise Up). It is important to the Anglo-Elite to have our children use music or any media to promote violence against each other! It is their wealth that feeds this self destructive machine here and abroad! They Profit in Numerous Ways From Our Ignorance and Suffering!

    MY CONDOLENCES GO OUT to the family of the Grandmother and all who suffered this tragedy, my condolences go out to all the people of the world, whom are suffering much more than need be, if only the rich, powerful and greedy weren’t so diabolical and sociopathic.

    • Altha Cutright

      Somebody tell me where is GOD?

      • Anonymous

        @d03513ba37b6b35243846542286b6559:disqus Somebody at some time had to indoctrinate people to the ideal of a ‘God’.
        Humans are great at concocting fantasy, and make-believe beings. They have found that indoctrinating people into this ‘God’ belief system opens a lot of psychological doors. They could have never imagined the gifts this would bring or could they? Who could have imagined that the inference of an omnipotent being would be so elastic, so static?

        My question is “How can this made-up phenomenon be so successful in the infestation of the human mind”? I can only think that humans want so desperately to believe,  that it works easily into their consciousness to accept it. It is very difficult to get out of it once you’ve been thoroughly indoctrinated, or psychologically conditioned into it. Some are willing to switch from one kind of system to another and still be entrenched in it.

        All this while recognizing, or not, that whole nations have been destroyed by people who have taken this belief system there. The native Americans were diabolically annihilated by this “One Nation Under God”. Many because they refused to accept this illusive Omnipotent being as their savior. So they didn’t get saved?

        You want to know where this ‘God’ creature is? Well I suggest that it resides in the minds of the psychologically conditioned. Yes, and we do have some humans who’s mind are so distorted, that they hear voices, and see things that aren’t there. We have some humans who’s minds were brilliant, but now have shut down, and they cannot even remember their  closest loved ones. We have people who’s minds won’t allow them proper speech, or physical movement, but they can multiply large numbers, and solve equations at inhuman speeds, or perform some other human mental phenomenon .Where is God you ask? It is a figment of the human imagination. Does it work for some and not for others? Many may selfishly think so (even when they can’t see the selfishness in it), but I suggest that if it doesn’t work for everyone, it works for no one.

        WAIT! The belief in an omnipotent being, a  ‘God’, if you must, works quite well for those who gain power and profit from the masses whom are ignorantly, culturally, and psychosocially are trapped by it. ( A good Minister of ‘God’ can even get away with serial rape, as we well know).

        It behooves the truth seeking individual to try to delete the idea of ‘God’ as a reality, from his/her mental reference tables.
        The impossible task is to irradiate it from all mankind before they annihilate themselves completely!

      • Jebus Chris

        God must have taking a nap or was on the toilet

  • Les

    I know the profile of Jonathan Ross without ever meeting him, seeing him or talking with him.  His mother was a teenager when she delivered him.  She is either a high school dropout (due to her pregnancy) or a high school graduate barely scraping by because she has no marketable skills to compete in the job market.  Because she delivered Jonathan as a teen mother, she herself was not prepared socially, emotionally, psychologically or financially to rear a child to become a productive member of society.  She had neither the internal nor external resources to guide this child on a pathway to good citizenship.  So you have another black child being reared by an ill prepared teenage mother and an absent father.  The outcome; another black male child enters into adulthood lacking a moral and social compass (the kid did not develop a conscience) that precludes him from  making good choices, having any regard for the rights and feelings of other people, having any regard for the impact of his behavior on others, and othe negative outcomes.  The young man is a sociopath and thus well on his way to a life of destructive behavior with innocent people suffering and and possibly dying because of it.  And until we break the cycle of early childbearing and absent fathers, we will raise another generation of black children with the profile of Jonathan Ross.