The violence that hurts us all

Tiny - Posted on 22 March 2016

Queennandi X, PNN

“It’s okay, Puddin, it’s okay, we’re good.” I was more focused on calming my 10 year old daughter down than tending to my knee I hurt while hitting the floor as “Hood Terrorists” riddled our block (Eddy and Laguna Sts.) with bullets that missed my neighbor’s head by an inch. A young man in his early 20’s was wounded in that shooting. On the scene of the evening shooting, a few of the Plaza East families had to patiently wait in the cold until the crime scene investigators were done with collecting the evidence and families were allowed to return to their homes.


I went to the hospital with the rest of the community to check on the person who was shot. When I came home, they still had the neighborhood blocked off, and I couldn’t get into my house.


Image: Scharod Fleming was a great dancer and beloved son who was killed in 2004 at the age of 15 at a dance party. Scharod's Law, which allows promoters to be liable for violence at their events, is named for him.


I elected to follow my feline counterpart Tifah and take to the backyard. We both climbed the fence, resembling 2 members of Mama Nature’s thick curvy club, a thick cat and a thick lady. (Outch!)


Earlier that Sunday, another man was killed while exiting the McDonald’s drive-thru area across from the Northern Police station in the Fill-no-moe. “Shootings that happened directly across the street from Northern police station is normal these days.” Says an onlooker who did not want to be named due to lack of trust of the media. This is PNN, not CNN I reminded the humble resident who then let down all guards.


Traumatized children stayed home from school the next day because of anxiety that led to a sleepless night. Windows on the right side of the 1200 block of Eddy street were shot out and a few are still awaiting repair. As of yet there has been no word of any suspects in both Sunday cases.


Richmond has had its share serving as another killing field for our young men. 14- year old Xavier McLanahan, 15 year-old Malik Barnes and 21-year old Joshmahl Russell are the latest victims of the violence that continues to rob and devour our children in the Bay Area. These kind of child murders would be declared a state of emergency if the youngsters had the “complexion protection”


In my opinion, this is like a horror movie where our children are being slaughtered by the po’lice and this “unseen monster” or “community terrorists”, like some weird version of “A nightmare on elm street” except the nightmare is on my street and not on a picture screen. Its soul-boggling that no one in either category rarely is brought to justice. It’s frustrating and disrespectful to us, all of us who lost loved ones (my brother Marcus) and because of this racist, po’lice state will pretty much never have any closure other than waiting for a year for an autopsy report and a xeroxed copy of a “Thank You” letter from survivors that have benefitted from “donated for profit” organs from the deceased.


While watching mainstream media, I couldn’t help but notice that almost every Black, Brown and other children of color murdered in our communities are immediately labeled a gangsta so therefore there’s this reserved attitude of “one less.” If a murder victim unfortunately had run-ins with the “lawless with badges”, there really is a vibe of “good riddance”, and that makes a cop that much more comfortable with laughing at half-assed jokes as a poor Mama wail over their love one’s body. I know, (judgemental ones) it’s not the po’lice’s job to feel our torment, but I would rather see a blank faced cop than a laughing one. I don’t think it’s decent to be laughing a few feet away while someone is catching hell right in front of you, it’s a human thing, you know?


Changing the conversation to the side of the coin that’s hardly voiced, a lot of our children are killed because they ARE NOT in a gang and REFUSE to engage in any wrongdoing, often being called “goody-two shoes” or “square.”


Like in the case of Joquan, a young black man who was on his way to the store after receiving news that he was going to be a father, was approached by 2-3 gunmen who “emptied out” their guns, shooting him dead after he refused to partake in a crime. (His mother subsequently died from a broken heart over her loss)


The youngsters who resisted the temptations to fuel the “Those people in low-income housing” stereotype are then targeted because of their choice to do the right thing. There is a need to support the children who are bullied, and “Not scold us and make us feel bad for doing the right thing or treat us like criminals, like officer “Jezzy” did!” Said one teen who feels like “Black teen life matters” also in the Western Addition area.


There have been some shine on the news lately praising the success of laws that were created in the name of child victims. Legislation like Megan’s law, Jessica’s law and the Amber alert, an alert system that lets us know whether we’re at home or on the highway that a child is lost or has been abducted. These are powerful tools when it comes to the safety of our children, returning them home to their families, and implementing harsher sentences for those who are responsible for committing crimes against our youth.


The sun will also shine on Scharod’s law, coined after 15-year old Scharod Fleming, a young, black talented “dancing machine” from the Western Addition who was killed outside the YMCA in the Tenderloin leaving a “Black Saturday’s” event by Eugene Cockerham, Jr. a promoter that had of reputation of throwing events that ended in fatalities, who also failed to provide adequate security for the young partygoers after fights had broken out later that evening.


Scharod’s law was introduced to provide stricter regulations to hold promoters (more) accountable for violating licensing rules and the required security staffed at dances, but Scharod’s Law, along with “Let the Children Dance” foundation created by one of his relatives is not taken seriously, not supported and swept under the rug, like many of our children’s lives.


Queennandi X, PNN


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