How do you save the children from this?

Posted on Thursday 8 February 2007

And people don’t understand why it’s difficult to redeem some of these kids:

A 17-year-old New Orleans teenager was shot to death Wednesday night after the mother of another 17-year-old teen allegedly gave her son a gun and told him to seek revenge because he had lost a fistfight with the victim, New Orleans police said.

The boy remains at large, police arrested the mother, Vanessa Johnson, 44, last night at her home, where they also found a small amount of cocaine. Inside the house, police said, pictures of the accused shooter hung on the walls, depicting him holding weapons and cash, police said.

Investigators consider the mother a principal in the case and have booked her with second-degree murder, police said. Johnson sent her son Clarence, 17, back into the street with the instructions, “kill them all,” said NOPD spokesman Joe Narcisse.

The victim, identified by his mother as Robert Dawson, 17, had just arrived back in the city from Dallas on a Greyhound bus arriving Wednesday afternoon about 3:30 p.m.. They returned to stay with relatives in the B.W. Cooper public housing development. The boy died just hours after returning to his hometown from Katrina-induced exile.

You know what? I looked as deeply as possible into myself, and I couldn’t find the place that would give me empathy or understanding. This thinking is completely alien to me.

And it really scares me when I try to factor such madness into the wider question of crime.

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AP versions of the story here and here.

Chris Martel at Metroblogging New Orleans:

If people in this city think the police can stop the murdering, they’re wrong. As long as we have a culture of murder that’s this pervasive, it’s never going to stop.

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