Tag Archives: crime

Adjusting to freedom after 22 years in prison

The Washington Post has a series about the legacy of the war on drugs and the current efforts to reduce the prison population of non-violent offenders. One of the stories told is about Donel Marcus Clark who spent years in jail for the intent to distribute cocaine. Donel Clark’s sentence for his first offense was 35 years.

The 51 year old Mr. Clark was granted clemency this year after serving 22 years of his 35 year sentence.

A 51-year-old who has spent more than two decades behind bars, Clark is one of 22 nonviolent drug offenders whom Obama granted clemency in March in an effort to shorten the harsh mandatory minimum sentences imposed on thousands of mostly African American men during the war on drugs in the 1980s and 1990s.

Those ex-convicts, along with 46 others given commutations in July, are making their way from federal prison back into neighborhoods around the country. Separately, 6,000 federal prisoners will be released at the end of the month after retroactive changes in sentencing guidelines.

After receiving Obama’s clemency letter six months ago in the Seagoville federal prison, just southeast of here, Clark was surrounded by guards and inmates who shook his hand and congratulated him.

He was free, they told him. But freedom, he learned, comes step by bureaucratic step.

Inmates granted clemency are first moved to lower-security prisons, then to halfway houses before home-confinement and, finally, probation.

Clark was initially transferred to a minimum-security prison camp at Seagoville, but outside the high razor-wire fence.

The article talks about Mr. Clark’s background and the details that led to his becoming involved in packaging drugs.

Raised by his grandmother after his mother died of cancer when he was 13, Clark went to church regularly and worked at a grocery store during high school. He was hired to work full time after graduating and a few years later took on a second job managing a liquor store for a friend. At 24 he married Ceyita Sampson, a neighborhood girl. They had a son and bought a house.

But Clark’s life began unraveling when he got fired after getting into an argument with his manager at the grocery store when he was not paid for doing extra work.

I was young and stupid,” Clark said.

About the same time, his friend decided to sell the liquor store and Clark knew he was about to lose that job as well. By then he was supporting three children, including one with an ex-girlfriend and his wife’s son from a previous relationship.

When a former classmate and known drug dealer came into the liquor store, Clark noticed his new truck with new jet skis on the back. Clark asked if there was a role for him in the business.

“He said, ‘This isn’t for you,’ ” Clark recalled. “I wasn’t a street guy. But I told him, ‘I’ve got bills, I’ve got family. I need some help.’ ”

His friend offered him a job packaging the drugs and supervising the “kitchen crew” — which cooked the powdered cocaine into crack. He would get paid $1,000 a week.

“I was like, man, $1,000 a week!” Clark said. He didn’t worry about money for a year and a half. He bought his wife jewelry and a car.

Then in May 1992, he was arrested. Police raided his house, and the recently purchased cars, televisions sets and electronic gear were all seized.

After a three-week trial a year later, Clark, then 29, was convicted of conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine, using the phone to commit a felony and manufacturing cocaine near a school — one member of the group lived within 1,000 feet of one. The judge determined that the group distributed more than 50 kilos of crack.

Clark, who had never been arrested before, was sentenced to 35 years.

Later, the prosecutor in the case said she always believed Clark’s sentence was too severe, but in court the judge said his hands were tied.

Clark was sent about 1,500 miles away from his wife and three sons — then 12, 8 and 4 — to Allenwood prison in Pennsylvania.

Check out the entire article at the Washington Post.com.

Oregon shooting victims

Last Thursday nine people were murdered at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.  They were murdered by Chris Harper Mercer who was killed by the police.

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A quadruplet, an aspiring pediatric nurse and a man who had finally found his path in life. Recent high school graduates experiencing their fourth day of college. Beloved sons and daughters.

They were among the nine people killed Thursday when a gunman stormed the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin gave their names and ages along with brief family statements.

You can read about the nine victims at CNN.com.

Mass shooting in Oregon

Earlier today a 20 year old male went on a shooting rampage at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The school is located about 3 hours south of Portland.

According to recent reports at least 10 people were killed and seven were wounded in the attack. The gunman was killed after exchanging gunfire with the police. The identities of the victims and the shooter have not been released.

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ROSEBURG, Ore. — A shooter described as a 20-year-old man opened fire on a rural community college campus in Oregon on Thursday morning, killing 10 people and injuring seven others, authorities said.

The victims would not be identified for at least a day due to the ongoing investigation, County Sheriff John Hanlin said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The lone gunman was killed following an exchange of fire with police, Hanlin had said during an earlier a news conference. No officers were believed to be injured, he added.

Hanlin said it was too soon to know if anyone else was involved in the shooting. In addition, he said authorities were not ready to comment on the gunman’s motiviation.

This shooting is added to a long list of shootings at schools. From Columbine in Littleton, Colorado to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia to Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. 20 children and 6 adult staff members were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. I’ve said it before. I thought that some sort of change in gun laws would happen on Capitol Hill after 20 babies were murdered in cold blood. But that didn’t happen. The NRA, which seems to own most of Congress, was very outspoken against any type of changes in gun laws. If 20 young children can be murdered and nothing changes I doubt if there will ever be any changes.

President Obama held a news conference and he was pissed. I don’t blame him.

President Obama said Thursday evening that the “routine” nature of mass shootings in America will continue unless the country’s politics changes.

“This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America,” said the president, who was visibly frustrated as he delivered a statement on Thursday’s mass shooting in Roseburg, Ore.

Obama has frequently railed against Congress’ refusal to pass additional gun control measures in an effort to curb mass shootings, especially in the wake of the Dec. 14, 2012 massacre of 20 students and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.. But on Thursday he delivered remarks in which he veered from anger to incredulity as he described his amazement that a slew of horrific attacks had failed to spur a response from Washington’s political establishment.

“There’s been another mass shooting in America,” he declared flatly at the outset of his comments in the Brady Press Briefing Room, named for President Reagan’s press secretary who was shot during a March 1981 assassination attempt on the president. “That means there’s another community stunned with grief, and communities across the country forced to relive their own anguish, and parents across the country scared because they know it might have been their families and their children.”

“But as I said just a few months ago,” he said, his voice rising to a higher pitch, “and I said a few months before that, and I’ve said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s not enough.”

“It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel,” he said, punctuating the word “anger” with added emphasis. “And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted some place else in America.”

After noting how the country is willing to devote enormous resources to address other threats to human life, ranging from terrorist strikes to unsafe bridges, Obama questioned why there was a different response when it came to guns.

“So the notion that gun violence is somehow different? That our freedom, and our Constitution, prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they could do under such regulations?” he asked. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Obama bemoaned the fact that these tragedies had become so frequent, he said, they no longer shocked the public. He urged media outlets to list the number of Americans who die each year from terrorist attacks against the number who are killed by guns, to show how much greater a threat gun violence poses to the country.

“Somehow this has become routine,” he said, looking a bit incredulous at the prospect. “The reporting is routine. My response to it up here at this podium becomes routine.”

Rather than listing the numerous tragedies that had occurred during his time in office–in Newtown, in Charleston. S.C. where a gunman killed nine parishioners in an African American church in June, and in countless other places–he noted that during an interview in July he bemoaned the fact that the United States was the “one advanced nation on earth” that has not adopted “common-sense gun safety measures” in the fact of multiple mass shootings.

“And later that day there was a mass shooting in a movie theater in Lafayette Louisiana. That day,” he said, his voice strained.

At times, his tone turned ironic. “Right now I can imagine the press releases being cranked out: ‘We need more guns.'”

“Does anybody really believe that?” he asked. “There are scores of responsible gun owners in this country, they know that’s not true.”

While the president said that Thursday’s 20 year-old alleged shooter at Umpqua Community College was mentally ill –“it’s fair to say anybody who does this has a sickness in their minds, regardless of what they think their motivations may be”– he also said other advanced countries with mentally ill citizens do not suffer the same fatalities.

“I’d ask the American people to think how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save lives, and to let young people grow up. And that will require a change in politics on this issue,” he said, adding that “the continuing death of innocent people should be a factor” when voters choose which elected officials they want to support at the ballot box.

“And each time this happens,” he vowed, “I’m going to bring this up. Each time this happens I am going to say we can actually do something about it, but we’re going to have to change our laws.”

“I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances. But based on my experience as president,” he said, looking grim, “I can’t guarantee that. And that’s terrible to say. And it can change.”

And after uttering a prayer for the victims and their families, the president turned and walked out of the room. The press corps sat in their seats, silent.

Murder on metro

The 4th of July is suppose to be a day of celebration.  But this past 4th of July in Washington, D.C. on the metro turned into a nightmare.  Twenty-four-year old Kevin Joseph Sutherland was brutally murdered in front of metro passengers.

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Eighteen-year old Jasper Spires murdered Kevin Sutherland.  He was trying to steal Kevin Sutherland’s cell phone.

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Jasper Spires boarded the Red Line Metro train at Rhode Island Avenue shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday, joining passengers from the District and elsewhere headed to various Fourth of July festivities, among them the Foo Fighters concert at RFK Stadium.

As the train rumbled toward its next stop, at NoMa-Gallaudet, a three-minute ride, D.C. police said, the 18-year-old Spires — who may have been high on synthetic drugs — tried to grab a cellphone tucked into the waistband of a recent American University graduate headed to a gathering with friends.

The two struggled, police said, and the terror began.

Police and a witness interviewed said passengers trapped in the moving train huddled at both ends of the car and watched in horror as Spires punched 24-year-old Kevin Joseph Sutherland until he fell to the floor, then stabbed him until he was dead. Court documents say the victim was cut or stabbed 30 or 40 times, in the chest, abdomen, back, side and arms. Police said the assailant then threw the victim’s cellphone and returned to stomp on Sutherland’s body.

“We were in a moving train,” said a 52-year-old woman, who spoke on the condition that she not be named because she is both a victim and a witness to a crime. “You’re not really sure what you need to do. . . . This man is holding a bloody knife. I don’t think anyone was going to try and stop him.”

After he murdered Kevin Sutherland he robbed other metro passengers.

When the frenzy was over, the woman, who is from Texas and was headed to the concert with her 76-year-old father, said the attacker turned his bloody knife on them. A police report said he told her father, who lives in the District, “Give me what you got,” took $60 and threw the man’s wallet on the floor. The man’s daughter then handed over an additional $160 “to keep him from hurting her father,” a police report said. The attacker also robbed other passengers, police said.

Jasper Spires was arrested yesterday and police say that he may have been high on synthetic drugs.  According to the Washington Post Jasper Spires was arrested last Thursday before he murdered Kevin Sutherland but was free while awaiting trial. Damn.  His ass should have been in jail instead of out on the streets.

Spires was arrested Thursday night in Northwest Washington on more serious charges. A police report says he confronted a man outside shops in the 5200 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW in Friendship Heights. The victim told police that the man was waving a wine bottle and demanded, “What do you have in your pockets?” He then grabbed the man by the neck, pushed him against a wall and searched through his pockets, the report says.

He was arrested by police about five minutes later. According to a police report, he kicked two officers in the legs as they handcuffed him.

The police report indicates that officers forwarded to prosecutors charges­ of robbery by force and violence, a felony, and assault on a police officer, a misdemeanor. When Spires made his initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Friday, prosecutors downgraded the felony robbery charge to a misdemeanor simple assault. A judge released Spires pending a July 21 hearing and ordered him to stay away from the victim.

It’s situations like this that make me nervous about metro sometimes. You don’t know what kind of people you will encounter on the train.  Let’s hope they keep Jasper Spires in jail this time.

The Mother Emanuel 9 murders

You know I still can’t believe 9 people were murdered in a Charleston, South Carolina church last week during bible study.

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Last Wednesday night Reverend Clementa Pinckney who was also a South Carolina State Senator was assassinated and eight of his fellow church members were murdered in cold blood by a twenty one year old terrorist/thug/assassin. Twenty one year old Dylann Roof sat in a bible study class at Mother Emanuel AME Church and one hour later proceeded to gun down 9 of its members.

While I’m at it can folks stop calling Dylann Roof a kid? He is twenty one years old. He is not a kid. He’s grown ass man. He’s not some mentally ill kid. He is a murdering terrorist. Why is it when young white men in particular go on killing sprees they are considered mentally ill? He’s not mentally ill, he’s a damn terrorist. Just like Timothy McVey.

This weekend it came out that Roof had a website containing his manifesto. In his website, lastrhodesian.com, he expresses his hatred towards blacks, Jews, latinos and the American flag. He expresses some admiration for East Asians. He claimed that the event that awakened him was the Trayvon Martin case and felt that black on white crimes weren’t given the same attention as white on black crimes. The site has been taken down but most of it still lives on thanks to Shaun King at The Daily Kos.

One thing about this case is how some Republicans refuse to admit that this murder was based on race. They feel it’s a war on Christianity because the murders happened in a church. Dylann Roof had hatred towards blacks; this had nothing to do with religion. If it was based on hatred towards Christians why didn’t he spend time in a bible study class at a predominantly white church. There are plenty of predominantly white churches in Charleston. According to surviving witnesses during the murder spree he stated his hatred towards blacks. He told the police in North Carolina that he wanted to spark a race war. He also stated that he researched Emanuel AME Church and targeted that church because of its history. If this isn’t race related I don’t know what is.

This entire situation is just making my head spin. During the hearing for Dylann Roof, the judge who presided over the case Charleston County Magistrate James “Skip” Gosnell, Jr. stated that Roof’s family are also victims. This was while the families of the real victims were in the courtroom.

“There are victims on this young man’s side of the family.”

Gosnell was just getting started.

“Nobody would have ever thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they are being thrown into,” he said.
“We must find it in our heart at some point in time not only to help those that are victims but to also help his family as well.”

I call bullshit on this judge. Talk about white privilege. Do you think if Dylann Roof was a black male named Devonte Davis, Judge Gosnell would be stating that the Davis family are also victims? I don’t think so. The entire country would be hearing about how dysfunctional the Davis family is.

Apparently this isn’t the first time this judge has made trifling comments.

“There are four kinds of people in this world: black people, white people, red necks, and n—–s,” he told a black defendant in a Nov. 2003 bond reduction hearing.

Gosnell later offered a sorry defense, saying he was merely repeating a statement he heard from an African American lawman.

Judge Gosnell was reprimanded for using the n word by the South Carolina Supreme Court. Roof’s bail for weapons charges was set at $1,000,000. The judge does not have the authority to set bail for the nine murder charges. In my opinion Roof should be held without bail for the nine murder charges.

Speaking of the families of the victims some family members said that they forgive Dylann Roof. I admire the families for their strong faith and their forgiveness. It’s their right to say this. But if this was my family member murdered by this terrorist I couldn’t forgive. At least not this soon. The victims haven’t even been buried yet. I would state whether I forgive or not after the trial.

One thing I have noticed is the coming together of the people of Charleston. Yesterday blacks and whites were coming together during the first church service since last week’s murder.

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Last night in Charleston thousands of people of all races came together to march in unison while crossing the Arthur Ravenel Bridge with many waving the American flag (This bridge is named after a former South Carolina state lawmaker who was a very vocal Confederate flag supporter).

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Charleston ShootingWill this become a turning point when it comes to race relations in South Carolina and the United States? I doubt it. This country still has a long way to go when it comes to the matters of race. We are not in a post racial America yet.

Charleston church shooting gunman Dylann Roof arrested in North Carolina

Dylann Roof, the gunman who murdered nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina has been captured in Shelby, North Carolina.  He was arrested during a traffic stop after 11:00 am this morning.

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The man suspected of killing nine people Wednesday night at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, was arrested Thursday morning about 245 miles (395 kilometers) away in Shelby, North Carolina, law enforcement authorities said. Dylann Roof, 21, of Lexington, South Carolina, was taken into custody without incident about 11:15 a.m. during a traffic stop, Charleston police Chief Greg Mullen said Thursday morning. He said local police were acting on a BOLO (be-on-the-lookout) notice that included a vehicle description, the license tag and the suspect’s name. Roof was armed with a gun when he was arrested, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. It’s not clear if it’s the same firearm used in the shooting. A senior law enforcement source told CNN the suspect’s father had recently bought him a .45-caliber gun for his 21st birthday in April.

So happy to hear that they caught this terrorist. Yes I said terrorist.

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He massacred nine defenseless people in a church just like Adam Lanza massacred 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut back in 2012. Call me delusional but after that massacre I thought for sure something would be done about guns laws in this country especially when it comes to stronger background checks. After all 20 of the 26 murdered were babies. Of course gun lovers and especially politicians on Capitol Hill fought tooth and nail against that. As President Obama stated this morning in his speech:

“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” he continued. “Now is the time for mourning and for healing, but let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”

Amen President Obama.

Family members charged in beating of pregnant teen

I read about this travesty in Dallas yesterday and it made me sick. I had to get up and go for a walk after reading this.  If you haven’t heard, 5 people have been arrested in the beating of a then 14 year old pregnant girl. She’s now 16.

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They beat her in order to abort her unborn child. The young lady was sexually assaulted by an older relative in 2012. The beating/assault/murder took place in 2013. The victim stayed quiet about the incident until another woman who witnessed the assault took her to the police station last month.

A 14-year-old girl who was impregnated by a relative was beaten by four other family members to induce an abortion, Dallas police say.

After the eight-month pregnant girl delivered, the family tried to cover up the crime by burning the stillborn baby on a charcoal grill at a Pleasant Grove home, police say.

Cedric Jones, 27; Sharon Jones, 45; Cecila McDonald, 25; and Lonnell McDonald, 27, were arrested Tuesday on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity. They were being held in the Dallas County jail, with bail set at $150,000 each.

The relationships among the suspects and the victim were not clear late Tuesday.

The hours-long attack allegedly occurred in 2013, but the girl stayed quiet until another woman, who said she witnessed part of the assault, took her to a police station May 22.

Apparently the 4 people who beat the victim were her cousins.  When they found out she was pregnant they feared that CPS would remove their own children from the home. One of the assailants had four children and the other children were the siblings of the victim.

One of the cousins gave the victim birth control pills, Plan B pills and cinnamon tablets to induce an abortion. When that didn’t work another cousin would sit on the victim and bounce up and down on her abdomen. He also kicked her. I can’t help but shake my damn head after I read this. What the hell were they thinking?  It’s like “to hell with what their young pregnant cousin was going through” with this beating. All they thought about was “what happens if Child Protective Services takes their children away?”

Two hours after the beating the baby was stillborn. And it doesn’t end there. In order to cover up this murder the victim’s cousins tried to burn the baby’s body in a charcoal grill. They eventually disposed of the stillborn burnt child in an unknown location.

You know I have been blogging since 2006 (took a break for a couple of years). I have blogged about some crazy ass crimes in all these years. And yes I have used the phrase thugs to describe some of these criminals. What else to you call them? But these folks in Dallas are beyond words to me. Do you call them thugs or animals or what?  I guess you can call them vicious monsters. What they did to this young lady was downright evil. And to add insult to all of this bail has been set at a paltry $150,000 for each asshole who participated in this assault/murder. This is too damn low. In my eyes bail should be at least $1,000,000 for each one.

I hope justice is served to Cedric Jones, Sharon Jones, Cecila McDonald, Lonnell McDonald and Robert Cayald. Life in prison without parole would be the perfect sentence for each one of them.

I’m hoping the young victim is getting some type of help or counseling. What she went through is horrifying.

The Washington Post and the metro melee coverage

I read an interesting column in the Sunday Washington Post this morning by the Post Ombudsman Andrew Alexander.

Brawl on the Metro: Where was the coverage?

By Andrew Alexander
Ombudsman
Sunday, August 15, 2010; A11

Post managers, from the top down, regularly remind the newsroom that coverage must have a “for and about Washington” focus. So when a large brawl broke out in the Metro system on a recent Friday night, it seemed a perfect chance to show local readers that The Post is their indispensable source for news.

His column discussed the complaints received from readers about the lack of coverage the Post had relating to the teen brawl that took place on the metro last Friday, August 6. He’s right, the coverage was very sparse.

On deadline, The Post gathered enough information for a news brief in Saturday’s paper, and a short story was quickly posted online.

I didn’t see anything about the melee in my Saturday paper. What I saw online Saturday was mostly in blog format, not a news article.

Throughout Saturday, it was among the most-viewed stories on the Web site, signaling intense reader interest. But as the day wore on, some readers grew frustrated that there was nothing more.

They did publish a story in last Sunday’s metro section but it wasn’t a lengthy article.

When a story for Sunday’s paper finally did appear, it offered little new. Promoted on the front page and tucked at the bottom of Sunday’s Metro section, it didn’t answer key questions: What caused the fighting? Were the people who were injured participants or bystanders? Was Metro beefing up security?

Why such thin coverage? Much of the explanation is that The Post responded with too little, too late.

So with a local news staff of about 70 reporters, why not call in reinforcements? Robert E. Pierre, the weekend editor for local news, said he saw no need. “It wasn’t about additional people,” he told me, noting that social media searches and an online appeal for witnesses had yielded little. And, he added, “the police didn’t have very much,” and what little information they disclosed was sketchy. The size of the crowd was in question, he said, and police couldn’t say how many were actually brawling.

The Post finally published a front page story on Monday, August 9 which included a family who witnessed the melee and a young man injured when riders fled the train. I was glad to see this on the front page because it is a major news story considering that thousands of folks take the metro everyday. But you know what? According to Mr. Alexander, Robert Pierre, the weekend editor for local news felt that last Monday’s front page story was given too much prominence.

When The Post finally produced a more substantive story for Monday’s paper, Pierre believes it was given too much prominence, even though it included eyewitness descriptions of multiple fights and bedlam as people tried to escape the pandemonium. The Post “overplayed it,” said Pierre. “It was a fight on the Metro. Kids get into fights.”

Say what? Dozens of teens are involved in a huge fight on the subway on a Friday night while dozens of metro riders look on and the weekend editor considered the front page story overkill? And you know why he felt that way. Cause kids get into fights. Would Mr. Pierre have said the same thing if those kids had gotten into fights with random adult metro passengers? Robert Pierre was also concerned about the racial aspect of the story. Give me a damn break.

Is Robert Pierre afraid of the reaction from black readers? Black folks take the metro too and many of us are sick and tired of the behavior of kids like those involved in the melee. We don’t all condone bad behavior. Is he afraid of some “so called black leaders” protesting in front of the Post if he puts more emphasis on this story?  Who cares? Let them sit on the train with the troublemakers, without the transit police in sight, and see what it feels like to witness mayhem and deal with harassment like the woman featured in a front page article on Friday.

‘Where was the security?’

Nationals fans clad in red pour off the Green Line at Gallery Place, creating a massive bottleneck. The crowd headed outbound to Branch Avenue is much smaller, and when the train arrives, six women in baggy shorts and polos with oversize collars board the same car. One starts doing pull-ups on the train’s metal bar. Another marches down the aisle, shouting “Check me out!” Other passengers — Nationals fans, people heading home from work, couples returning from the movies — smile and laugh.

Then the scene gets tense. One of the young women, who won’t give her name, starts mocking a 58-year-old woman named Carol who is studying a physiology textbook in the middle of the car.

“You look like my teacher, Mrs. Wright,” the taunting woman says. “You can’t fail me anymore!” The crowd laughs, more hesitantly this time. Then the barrage of insults starts. The woman puts her nose in Carol’s hair. “You smell like cat piss,” the woman says.

Carol looks down at her book, trying to ignore the assault.

“It’s because of you that I’m gay,” the woman continues. “It’s because of you that my children are mentally retarded.” The woman gives her friends high-fives after each insult, and they laugh together. A family in Nationals uniforms moves to the other side of the car.

Five Guardian Angels arrive. They stand at one end of the car, arms crossed, silent. The woman in the baggy shorts looks at the youngest Angel, who appears to be in his teens. “What are you, 12?” she screams. “What are you gonna do, skateboard?” The Angels, in trademark red berets, do not respond.

“Ha!” the woman exclaims. “These Angels ain’t guarding [expletive].”

After a few minutes, the Angels leave the car. The woman continues to viciously mock Carol.

Carol, her tormentor and the rest of her group get off at Suitland. One of the women tells Carol, “I’m sorry, it’s just that we’ve been drinking.” She puts her arm around Carol.

Carol walks toward a cab. “You know, I wasn’t scared by what happened in there,” she says. “I was embarrassed that everyone, especially the Caucasians, had to see one black woman insulting another black woman like that. Still, what if things had escalated? The Angels were there, but they didn’t do anything. Where was the security?”

As a black woman I want to know more about the August 6 melee.  I don’t like this tip toeing around because the kids are black. Hell I knew they were black. I’ve seen how some of these black kids act on the metro and it’s not a pretty sight. Do I care if the “so called black leaders” raise a ruckus? No I don’t. That will just prove to me even more so that they’ll continue with the excuses and coddle the hoodlums in the black community and as usual don’t give a damn about the victims unless it’s a white on black crime.

I would also like to say something about the Washington Post and its local news coverage. I have noticed that when it comes to the print edition for local news the Post is seriously lacking. You can read the Metro section in less than 2 minutes because it’s that thin. If you want to read any local news you have to go online and click on Local. And even then some of the local news online is in blog format and not a news article. Why bother with a print edition of the Metro section when you print mostly one paragraph articles about what’s going on locally in the Post? The Post use to be better than this. The print version of the Post seems to spend most of it time on national politics and of course Sarah Palin. I’ve seen news stories from around the world receiving better coverage than local news in the print edition. I guess that’s why they have a separate local section online. And the Washington Post wonders why they’re seeing a decline in subscribers. I’m seriously thinking about cutting back my service to Sunday only.

Maybe it’s because I’m old school that I still read the paper. It’s a habit I’ve had since I was a youngster. I also enjoy reading the news on the internet. I check out news sites from all over the country and the world. But when it comes to my local paper I would still like to enjoy reading the print edition of the Washington Post.

Young folks brawl on the metro

Most folks in the D.C. metro area have heard by now about the brawl on the metro last Friday evening involving up to 70 teens and young adults. The incident began at the Gallery Place Metro where dozens of young folks were fighting. The brawl continued on the subway platform at L’Enfant Plaza Station, terrifying other riders and causing a stampede.

So far three people have been arrested and four were injured. I’m surprised only 3 people were arrested. Two of the arrested were sixteen year olds.

Amid Metro brawl, family’s night out turns into ‘pandemonium’

By Valerie Strauss and Phillip Lucas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 9, 2010; A01

It was bad enough when Kimberly Hay’s family, riding the Metro to the Kennedy Center on Friday night to watch “Mary Poppins,” saw three youths assault a terrified young rider reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” by aiming an aerosol can at his face and spraying.

But the brawl they witnessed on the way home several hours later, which involved at least 70 youths fighting each other in a frenzy, left Hay’s nieces “freaked out” and the 43-year-old wary of riding the Metro in off-peak hours.

“It was pandemonium,” said Hay, who had traveled to the District from Charles County with her husband, sister-in-law, 25-year-old niece with special needs and two grandnieces, 11 and 14.

“We were pushing our kids out of the way, trying to plaster ourselves against the wall so nobody would hurt us. There were five fights right in front of us. . . . Metro is very accessible but not safe all the time. I don’t know if I would ride it again in non-rush hours.”

It was the second reported big fight involving young Metro riders in the nation’s capital this summer, and some elected officials called Sunday for better security and new approaches to deal with the problem.

The melee highlights the difficulties authorities have in dealing with teen violence and how it can encroach on a Metro system that routinely carries commuters, families, tourists and late-night revelers.

In June a youth was beaten over his shoes.

Violence among young people during the summer is a longstanding problem in the District, and it is the reason there is a curfew that requires city residents 17 and younger to be off the streets by midnight.

In early June, a fight that started on a Red Line train left a 16-year-old boy beaten unconscious by a group of people who had attacked him over his Air Jordan shoes, the boy’s mother said. Union Station was closed for about 30 minutes after a Transit Police officer responded and was backed up by more than a dozen other officers.

I only take the metro during the weekday to go to work and then go home from work.  Even then you have to worry about some of the young folks who board the train during the school year.  They can be very loud, obnoxious and down right vulgar. The young girls can be worse than the young boys.  I blogged about this back in 2007 and from reading yesterday’s article their behavior hasn’t changed one bit.

It was bad enough when Kimberly Hay’s family, riding the Metro to the Kennedy Center on Friday night to watch “Mary Poppins,” saw three youths assault a terrified young rider reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” by aiming an aerosol can at his face and spraying.

This_right_here. Spraying something in someone’s face? How trifling can you get? I swear it seems like some of these young folks don’t have any type of home training at all.  These kids (thugs, hooligans, whatever you wanna call them) are being raised on the streets by wolves!!

It would be nice if we can see more metro transit police on the trains.  But seeing how some of the young folks act they might fight the police.

Marriage counselor murdered by husband

I was reading an article at Salon.com when another article caught my eye. A marriage counselor was murdered by her husband.  I’m thinking wow. But then as I continued to read, something about this article amazed me.  The deceased, Tonya Hunter had met her husband Maurice Lyons in an anger management class she was teaching last summer and they were married in December 2009.

A few days later, Hunter was found in her garage, stabbed to death. Her little boy, who had been abandoned on a street corner, led police to her body. And her husband, whom she had met in an anger-management class she taught, was arrested.

The husband, Maurice Lyons, was taken into custody Monday and is being held on pending charges of aggravated murder and domestic violence. The couple, who married in December, had met when Lyons was a student in one of Hunter’s classes last year, Wairegi said. Lyons was released from prison last winter after serving three years for burglary and theft.

Maurice Lyons had been released from prison in February 2009 after serving 3 years for burglary.   Lyons is a repeat felon with a criminal record dating back to the late 1980’s.

Court records don’t list an attorney for Lyons, who also served prison time for a string of crimes in Missouri and Illinois between 1989 and 1998, including a 10-year term handed down for a carjacking in Bloomington, Ill.

Now I don’t like to blame the victim but why oh why did Ms. Hunter rush into a marriage with this guy?  According to her former secretary she was so in love with this guy.  Was she desperate to get married? A marriage counselor rushing into a marriage with a repeat felon with anger issues.  She had to have known about his background yet she still married him.  Did she think that he would change? According the article in Cleveland.com the couple was fighting after their wedding.

Darlene James, Hunter’s former secretary, attended the couple’s December wedding. James said Lyons was a student in a class Hunter taught last summer at Bryant & Stratton College.

“He was always sending her poems,” James said. “He would bring her lunch at the office. He was just trying to win her over.”

James questioned Hunter about why she would marry him so soon after meeting, particularly since he had a criminal record.

“She’s a marriage and family counselor,” James said. “It didn’t make sense that she didn’t give it time to develop. But she was in love. I have never seen her so happy.”

Others who worked in the Southgate Office Building where Hunter based her business said she and Lyons seemed a strange match.

“They were complete opposite personalities,” said Rob Weakely, who worked in the office next to Hunter’s.

The couple started fighting right after the wedding, James said, with Hunter sometimes calling in to cancel appointments after a fight. Lyons also complained if Hunter scheduled evening appointments, James said.

Hunter called Cleveland Police in late March to report that Lyons punched her in the back of the head in their driveway after an argument. After telling Lyons she filed the complaint, he told her, “If I go to back to jail, I will kill you,” according to court documents.

The media has been bombarding us with articles about how difficult it is for black women to find a good man.  And you have some folks telling black women to settle for less.  Is this what Tonya Hunter did?  This marriage killed her.

According to police, Hunter’s 4-year-old son Timothy was dropped off alone on a street corner about 10 p.m. Sunday and eventually led them to his mother’s body. The child remains in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services but could be given to family members today.

I really feel sorry for Tonya Hunter’s son.  Did he witness his mother’s murder?  My prayers go out to Ms. Hunter’s family.

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