ROYSE CITY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – While protests continue to call for police reform, the cousin of a UNT student killed by Denton officers is joining the chorus, not in the streets, but in the studio.
Quindon Tarver is in a recording studio hoping that he’s found an anthem to connect with what’s happening across America.
“I’m really proud of it because it gives me a voice in what’s going on,” says Tarver.
The passion in the McKinney singer’s voice isn’t just from a long recording career and a 2002 appearance on American Idol.
Tarver is singing from a place in his heart that few can relate to.
“My cousin was murdered by the Denton Police and that took me and my family by storm,” says Tarver.
His cousin DJ Tarver was shot and killed by Denton Police in January.
Officer body camera videos showed the unarmed UNT student carrying a frying pan and acting irrationally days after suffering a head injury in a car wreck.
“Somethings got to be done,” says Tarver. “We’ve got to raise awareness of it.”
“Stand Our Ground” is the title of the song that Tarver wrote after seeing other black men die at the hands of police.
It opens with the line, “I’m so sick and tired. I’m tired of the abuse. I’m tired of seeing my fellow African Americans being killed and slain,” says Tarver.
Tarver says the lyrics to the song poured out of him in only minutes and helped him cope with his own grief over losing his cousin.
“It allows me to feel like I put him back on the map. I don’t have the power to get on and talk about it and all that, but I can sing about it and I chose to make a song about it,” he says.
SEE THE FULL SONG HERE