New York, Thursday:
Patience Boyd, 2, was shot in the head and is fighting for her life at New York-Presbyterian Medical Center and Jayla Rodriguez 6, was grazed in the neck. The intended target, Ricky Rodriguez, 20, (not related) was wounded in the torso. All three were rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital.
A 27-year-old man was ordered held without bond Sunday, charged with fatally stabbing his 3-year-old son and raping and stabbing the boy’s mother Friday morning in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side. The boy — identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office as Jaivon Sandifer — was pronounced dead at 12:18 p.m. Friday at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. A Saturday autopsy determined he died of multiple stab and incise wounds and the death was ruled a homicide.
Detroit police say three men were shot, two fatally, as they were walking on the southwest side Friday afternoon. The men were at Cabot and Vernor about 1 p.m. when three men in a vehicle pulled up and fired shots, Detroit Police Officer Samuel Balogun said. Two of the men were found dead at the scene, Balogun said. The third was hospitalized in critical condition, police said.A total of 238 homicides had occurred in the city this year as of Sunday — a 22.7% increase over the same period in 2010.
“I don’t want to question you God, but I keep asking. Why her? Why Madison?” Dentsy said today as she stood over a tiny pink casket which held the body of 10-month-old Madison Marie Spearman. The toddler was beaten to death in Irvington last week. She died because she was crying, authorities say, and her mother’s 15-year-old boyfriend didn’t want to hear it anymore.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person who fatally shot 15-year-old Danica “Tugga” Nelson. Danica was shot in the head Saturday at East 39th Street and Longwood Avenue, where more than 100 people gathered Monday evening for a candlelight vigil. “She was a bright and popular sophomore at Jane Addams High School in their Design Lab and a student at Tri-C’s Early College Program,” community activist Khalid Samad said Sunday in a news release.
Los Angeles, Saturday
Deshon Rasberry was with about twenty people in the 2100 block of East 103rd Street. A lone Black male suspect walked up to Rasberry and fired several shots at him. Rasberry collapsed to the ground and Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) personnel transported him to a local hospital, where he died a short time later. This murder was gang related.
The grieving women knelt on a floor scrubbed of blood, praying the children’s souls to heaven. In life, the children were Savanna Mao, 12, who wore stylish purple glasses to match her personality, and her brother, Savann, 8, who at night prayed for a guitar and a drum so he could form a rock band. Their mother killed them in this tiny bedroom Wednesday evening.
A killing in broad daylight Friday has Carrollton police on the lookout for a suspect they say is armed and dangerous.Police said three men were in a vehicle around 3:20 p.m. at the Chateau Apartments at 460 Hays Mill Road when a man identified as Evan Winston came up to the car and fatally shot one of its occupants.
East Saint Louis, Wednesday
East Saint Louis Authorities say Smith, 25, shot her daughter, Yokela Smith, 4, and son Levada Brown, 5, in their heads with a shotgun Wednesday evening at their East St. Louis home in the 3000 block of Lincoln Avenue. Another son, 8, was not harmed. Authorities said only that he was able to escape. Smith fled to St. Louis in a vehicle while several calls brought police to the apartment, authorities said. St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said the crime scene they found there was horrific and that “officers don’t get paid enough to do this.”
Our society is crumbling.
The pictures are haunting: The children, usually cherubic little toddlers, oftentimes black, with names like Yokela and Levada and Jayla are frozen in the amber of permanent newsprint, smiling for all eternity at a reading public that skips past the latest horrific murders and moves onto the box-scores.
There is a low level and gruesome war occurring in our cities, with new victims each day.
Those I’ve highlighted above have all occurred in only the last four or five days. There is usually some accompanying narrative in the newspaper coverage, complete with pictures, of a grieving aunt, or grandmother, clutching the stuffed animal that the latest child-victim once hugged in life, wailing: We must stop the violence, we must take back our streets, why, why, why did the have to die in such a cruel, unspeakably tragic way?
The questions are bellowed in hysterical grief, but are met only with stone cold silence of the next days calamitous murders– There will be more tomorrow.
And yet, we are told to stay away from the moral causes, don’t talk about social issues. Keep your mouth shut about the violence of abortion. Don’t drone on about the baggy pants, the foul-mouthed rap– after all, we’ve got a Federal Government with mutli-trillion dollar deficits to fix. Nobody cares about the devaluation of life, the senseless violence. Shhhhhh….. Independents get turned off by all the social issue crap.
Recently, I pulled up to a gas-station-and-convenience-store in a remote hamlet in Northern Michigan– the kind of place that advertizes “Homemade Jerkey!” outside, and is fifteen miles from anything resembling a town. I was pumping gas, and my little 8-year-old boy was helping– in the manner that 8-year-olds “help”. It was a gorgeous summer afternoon, and we were both anticipating a tall fountain soda-pop, and maybe some hunter sausage.
The ground and air started to thump and shake with a ferocity that seemed to portend an earthquake, or worse. The noise grew louder, until we realized the obnoxious din was emanating from a 1990’s vintage Saturn tooling along the rural road, evidently equipped with mammoth bass speakers that verily shook the ground as it proceeded. A young man with a tailored baseball cap, and wife-beater tank top debauched from the car as it came to a stop in front of the store, but the hideously loud “rap” music continued. We couldn’t hide from it. The tender lyrics of the song went:
I’ve not bothered to look up the lyricist, but I’m sure I’ll find their biography right next to Jerome Kern’s in the annals of the Great American Songbook.
So, I’m standing there, trying to fill up my tank and simultaneously seem unconcerned with the auditory assault being leveled at my 8-year old boy. What should I do? At the moment, the idiot playing the music from his car couldn’t have heard me if I’d had George Bush’s bullhorn at hand, yelling epithets. It was a teachable moment, to be sure, but shouting lessons would be useless. I did corner the young twerp in the store, and asked him to turn down his stereo. He looked at me like I was from Lichtenstein.
Nope, the culture is just fine. No problems, at least none big enough to have our Presidential candidates address, that’s for darned sure. We don’t want to scare off the independents.
I would like to posit a theory that perhaps you “FiCons” might want to consider: Our fiscal house is a disaster because our culture is a disaster. And the one can’t be fixed without the other, at least in a meaningful, long-term way. A society that doesn’t care about the deadly toxic nature of its culture, where two-year-old children of 15-year-old mothers are routinely slain by their 16-year-old “boyfriends”, or where the most deadly crime in our inner cities is “disrespect”, is a culture that really doesn’t care that it is saddling its children with debt. Long-term, multi-trillion dollar deficits are a form of child abuse, writ large. It’s just a normalized, institutional form of that hideous crime, but much less gruesome than all the sensational news stories about rape and murder. But, it’s quite plain now: Here in America, children are quite clearly disposable, and have been for a long, long time.
Since about, oh, January, 1973. But, whatever you do, don’t bring it up. It scares the independents.