PNN-TV: The Tragic Murder of this Mama's Son... Derrick Louis Gaines, 15 yrs old
His music was his heart but as a Black disabled young man growing up dealing with peer pressure, bullying and being profiled in school and on the streets by adults and his peers, like any youth he tried to protect himself not only physically but mentally. However, his music kept on getting softer and softer and drastically was shut off by a South San Francisco police officer when Derrick Louis-Lamar Gaines was shot in the back trying to seek safety when police approached him while he was walking home from McDonalds.
Derrick Louis-Lamar Gaines, like any youth also searched within himself to find his talents and to build strength that many youth especially Black youth with disabilities need to do at an early age with help from their parents just to deal with societal attitudes that are leveled towards him/them constantly. While searching within, Derrick found a love of writing Hip-Hop & R&B song lyrics and putting his own songs together with his own beats. Like I know all so well as a Black disabled man who always liked writing, many people will try to put you down, discourage you and place their discriminatory ways on you like handcuffs. This happened to Derrick over and over again from adults to peers but nobody would have thought that one day in Derrick’s youth that his music would be shut off forever.
Many would have considered Derrick a statistic as a Black disabled young man but there were other statistics that his family didn’t want Derrick to become like another Black disabled youth in nowhere special education classes or another Black young man in a gang or another Black disabled young man caught up in violence or shot by police. After the hard work that Derrick’s family and Derrick himself have put in to keep his music on and not become a dreadful statistic of another Black disabled young man shot by police, Derrick’s music was turned off for the last time and became that statistic, a innocent victim of a shooting on June 5th 2012 by a South San Francisco police officer.
Derrick’s pen & keyboard that he used to write and type his lyrics on turned into tools for mainstream media to rewrite the last story telling song that filled newspapers and blogs. However, the only people who have the right to be the authors of this story describing Derrick are Derrick’s parents and any witnesses at the scene on June 5th, 2012. This is why Poor Magazine invited Derrick’s family to come by and talk about Derrick.
As Rachel Guido, the mother of Derrick Louis-Lamar Gaines, told Poor Magazine what happened to her son on June 5th 2012, I realized that Derrick could have been a member of Krip-Hop Nation because he was a songwriter and inspiring musician with a disability and a critical thinker. Krip-Hop Nation is a network of musician/artists with disabilities from around the world to educate the music, media industries and general public about the talents, history, rights and marketability of Hip-Hop artists and other musicians with disabilities and Krip-Hop Nation is more than music, it is cultural activism.
Krip-Hop Nation earlier this year released a mixtape CD on the issue of police brutality and profiling against people with disabilities. Krip-Hop Nation, unfortunately realized that Derrick’s lyrics must be heard and his tragic death on June 5th could have been ,hard to say, but another of the heartbreaking lyrical story songs on our latest CD, Police Brutality Profiling Mixttape against people with disabilities to help educate our communities on the high rate of police shootings/killings of people with disabilities. Krip-Hop is more than music so we will carry Derrick’s soul and spirit with us as we continue with our cultural activism.
I imagined Derrick running with his club feet as he got shot in the back by a South San Francisco police officer when his mother, Rachel Guido, finished her story and tears ran down her cheeks in the Poor Magazine newsroom on Aug 7th/2012. Now as I reread articles on the shooting of Derrick Louis-Lamar Gaines, things don’t add up but as a veteran activist against police involved shootings of people with disabilities I have read these stories in mainstream media over and over again painting Derrick Louis-Lamar Gaines and others as gang members, dangerous and out of control youth. These stories continue to be the opposite of what their parents, friends and many times witnesses at the scene have told but don’t have the big mic or pen that mainstream media and or police have.
Stories like Derrick was running very fast I questioned knowing many people with clubfeet and knowing how just walking is painful and slow and listening to the mother of Derrick Louis-Lamar Gaines talk about his disability and the pain he experienced if he ran makes me wonder about the stories in mainstream media that I have read thus far. As I know by now, there will be many different stories with different elements by so many different people, but mothers always know best when it comes to their children and many times it is the mother who has advocated at birth till the last days of their sons and daughters so when Rachel told Poor Magazine that she saw and cleaned up her son’s dead body with bullet holes in his back, we must stop, listen and take note.
Days following the police shooting of Derrick Louis-Lamar Gaines and even today, his mother continue to go through her son’s songs and are still amazed at how talented he was. I never met Derrick Louis-Lamar Gaines but I know he would have loved Krip-Hop Nation. It is sad that the lyrical stories that make up Krip-Hop Nation/5th Battalion Police Brutality Profiling Mixttape are still a reality today. You hear that? It is Derrick Louis-Lamar Gaines rapping, "NO JUSTICE NO PEACE, TURN UP MY SONG…"
Leroy F Moore Jr.
Founder of Krip-Hop Nation