Jaquell Martin just wanted to follow in the footsteps of his mother defending the freedoms of America. The Benton Harbor, Michigan native ended up enlisted and serving all around the world, ending up in Richard County being assaulted by officers. That experienced ended up becoming the novel and award-winning short film, “A War On Friendly Grounds.” Thissomebull.com recently spoke with Jaquell about this experience and how its impacted his life and new career.
TSB: Could you introduce yourself to our readers.
King Jaquell Martin: Hello, my name is King Jaquell Martin.
I’m a Director, Actor, Author, and the World Best Motivational and Inspirational Speaker that the World is about to hear; however, before I became all these amazing different things, I was a soldier in the United States Army. I served my country for 10 years and I also played semi pro football for the Carolina Titans with Coach Jackson.
TSB: Tell us about growing up in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
King Jaquell Martin: My mother was in the Army, and she got stationed in Germany. So, I lived with my Grandma Mother Louise and was raised by my Uncle Carl. I was always in sports which kept me away from being in the streets.
TSB: Why did you decide to go to the military?
King Jaquell Martin: I got caught with a girl in the house! My mom was putting me out and I didn’t want to turn to the streets, so I followed her and joined the Army.
TSB: Could you detail the experience that made you led to you writing, “A War On Friendly Grounds.”
King Jaquell Martin: My ex-wife and I were wrongfully assaulted by Richland County Police Department police officers named Officer Benjamin Fields (who is the same officer who assaulted the young lady at Spring Valley High School) and Deputy Joseph Clake, his supervisor. What made the biggest impact was when Colin Kaepernick took a knee and lost his job fighting for someone who looked like me.
TSB: Tell us about turning your book into a movie.
King Jaquell Martin: I saw Fruitvale station directed by Ryan Coogler and his leading actor was Michael B. Jordan which inspired me to tell the truth about my story.
My boy Jeff Acuff (Industry Threat) who played Tupac in the Death Row Chronicles said he was going to film school for screenwriting. I figure I wrote a book and I love film. Why not go to film school? So, I went to the New York Film Academy in Burbank, CA. I talked to the screen writing program and found out how much screen writers had to write and quickly found out that wasn’t for me! So, I joined the Directing Program because I loved the idea of being the creator and helping the actors get into character.
TSB: The next film you were involved in was, “Twitter Fingers,” tell me about that film.
King Jaquell Martin: I did an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN. He asked me if I saw Officer Benjamin Fields again, what would I say? I said I would forgive him. I guess the world still doesn’t understand forgiveness. It wasn’t for the officer, but it was for me and my experience with the Officer Benjamin Fields. I knew that my movies and books would make a bigger impact than a bullet. So, the people in the comment section called me everything but a child of GOD. Then George Floyd passed away and white people did a George Floyd Challenge where they took a knee on someone’s neck while they screamed, I can breathe. I took both of those horrible situations and created something beautiful that the world can learn from, and it became my movie “Twitter Fingers.”
TSB: What’s are you currently working on?
King Jaquell Martin: Turning my award winning short, “A War on Friendly Ground” into a FEATURE FILM. The pitch is Crash and Fruitvale Station meets Pursuit of Happiness.
TSB: How can people contact you?
King Jaquell Martin: KingJaquellMartin on IG
King Jaquell Martin on FB