March 28, 2007
From mourners to suspects overnight. Who knew?
Yesterday I marveled over the inability of the Philadelphia Inquirer to make any mention of suspects in huge front page story, headlined "Woman dies while trying to help children -- Another family is left to mourn."
There's even a picture of mourners:
Which has this accompanying caption:
Rashiek High (left), whose wife was killed Sunday, gets a hug from a friend outside his house on Pentridge Street in Southwest Phila. Jovonne Stelly was shot in broad daylight when she was caught in a gun battle that erupted on her Kingsessing street.My reaction to this was to wonder why the Inquirer was so quick to blame the guns used in the shooting, without so much as a mention of, simply, who did it:
There's no question that this death was tragic, but what I want to know is why there has been no discussion of the shooters. Were any arrests made? Why not? Considering all the discussion, speculation, and outright mischaracterization of firearms, and the use of the word "slaughter," why is it that nowhere (in any of the articles I've seen) do the words "suspect" or "arrest" occur? And why is it that no reward has been offered?Unless you'd read yesterday's article like a detective (and scoured previous stories, as I did), you'd have been hard pressed to discern that this was a family feud. (Much less that the mourner in the photo would be arrested the next day as a suspect.)
But today, the headline is "Brother; husband arrested in death," and the article begins with talk of "the code of the street":
It's the code of the street: Don't snitch. Dummy up.OK, two of the shooters lived with her, and one was her husband? But yesterday he was pictured as a mourner, a victim?
My, the news changes fast around here.
But there still seems to be a movement to make the guns somehow the culprit. Local activists are not happy about the arrests, because the real enemy is, is, well, "the bullets they were dodging." Therefore, a protest march is planned:
The slaying, resulting from a gunfight in which dozens of bullets were fired, was likely the result of a long-simmering dispute.Yes, and according to yesterday's article, the politicians (all of whom think guns are the problem) have been invited:
Elected officials and mayoral candidates have been invited, said organizer Stephanie Dixon, who called for citizen action "to stop the madness."The madness meme was echoed by a police spokesman in today's piece, which has more on the feud, and how it started:
A witness told a reporter Monday that the gun battle, in which up to 40 shots were fired, began when an unspecified number of gunmen emerged from a house and started shooting.It's about as insane as the Hatfields and the McCoys. (And, um, might it also be that these people are, dare I say it, career criminals?)
The thing is, I don't doubt the "insane" shooters themselves would be welcomed by the marchers, as long as they agreed that the guns caused their "madness."
I think such thinking is at least as insane as the shootings.
posted by Eric on 03.28.07 at 08:01 AM
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