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A Letter to Kendrick February 26, 2010

Posted by The Typist in 504, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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2 comments

I got another memorial on my last posting of the murder victims of 2008, which reminds me (again) that I did not post a list for 2009. I will get to that shortly.

I went and saw a reading by the excellent young poet Sandra Beasley from Washington, D.C. last night and it reminded me of my own time in that city in the very early 1990s, a time when something in society just cracked and we entered the world of Clockwork Orange. I remember talking to my wife about a trip to Ireland. She was afraid to go to Belfast, and I had to remind her she was in much greater danger in Washington, D.C. going to the corner for cigarettes that she would be standing in the most dangerously partisan pub in Belfast.

And now I live in another routine contender for Murder Capital of the U.S.A.

I really need to get that list up.

I spent some of my time around and right after the holidays working on a vaguely related project that I thought answered the call that lead me to post the lists for 2008 and 2007. I think now I need to go get a cleaned up list posted and call for memorials again, but until then, here’s a tiny excerpt of what I spent early January working on in lieu of the list, a small piece of something tentatively titled Murder Ballads:

II. Dinneral

A man ought be able
to pick up his kid in
5 o’clock broad daylight
without some fool
drawing a nine
or a .40
in stupid fury,

people scattering on the street
slugs shattering the windshield
blood spattering the seats

A boy ought not
have to watch
his father bleed out
in a shattered car
on Broad Street
at five o’clock
in the afternoon.

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Remembering Carmen October 2, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Crime, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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4 comments

The latest shootings were almost a week ago, last Saturday. In the quiet days since the newspaper is full of stories of the person who tossed some kittens out of the window of their car on the Causeway bridge. Today there is mention of a reward for information on who did this. There is no reward mentioned in the paper for the killers of last Saturday’s three dead.

When it’s quiet like this its easy to forget that we live in a city where more people died by murder in 2008 than there were casualties in Afghanistan that year. Easy to forget for most, but not for me: every time I check my blog stats I see the number of people who have visited the posts in which I list all of the victims of the last two years.

Just yesterday I had 26 visits searching for Carmen Leona Reese, who died of two bullets to her chest last October 15. A bit of the story of the crime is told in New Orleans Magazine in a story titled Violent Night.* It’s more a tale of the frustrations of the homicide detectives than of the victims but it gives a thumbnail sketch of Carmen’s life shortly before she died. It doesn’t tell the story of how she came to New Orleans, or lost contact with her mother and step-father in Houston.

There are hints in the magazine piece and a few other odd places of a falling out, of some stress related to her mother and step-father’s deployments to Iraq. We do not learn what happened to her natural father. One immediately thinks of the tales we have heard of the rootless lives of Army brats. All we learn from the magazine is that somehow she arrived in New Orleans, fell into stripping and possibly prostitution in the French Quarter, and that her life ended in sex and death. She was only 18 at the time, just a year older than my daughter.

There is a picture of Carmon on the Internet, a pretty girl with curly hair and carefully plucked brows. She has a smile I might describe as wry if I saw it in my daughter’s year book, her head cocked with a you-must-be-kidding-me expression, her eyes coquettishly half closed. Or as if she were high. Looking at her face, she was certainly attractive enough to find work in the strip clubs that pander to the tourists who come to the Quarter for the casual sleaze of big ass beers and nearly naked young women.

The magazine piece tells of the detectives’ search to learn her identity, how they took pictures of her face and of her tattoos. As they search tattoo parlors and sleazy Quarter bars they find nothing. A guy at the first tattoo parlor they call on says her tattoos are homemade crap. They finally get an ID on Leona, and begin to look into her background for evidence that might help convict their suspect, who tossed Carmen into the weeds behind his trailer and left a bloody mattress cover and t-shirt in the trash can right outside his door.

They locate the club where she worked and talk to one of the girls there. She tells them Carmen was a good girl but was in some kind of trouble. ““She bounced around real bad. She was in a bad predicament”. They are trying to find the hotel where she was living, after learning from a friend in Nebraska who spoke with her a day before she died that she always kept a journal

The magazine story just sort of peters out there without resolving Carmen’s story, moving onto instead another murder, another day in the life of the homicide squad. You can almost her the Law & Order chime. The piece is meant as a verite’ snapshot staring the detectives. The victims and perpetrators are just bit players. Perhaps the free-lance true crime writer credited with the story figured out how to meet his word quota without the rest of the tale.

Maybe Carmen was not a part of the assignment. She wouldn’t interest the subscribers to New Orleans Magazine, who would rather read about a new restaurant or browse the ads for the boutiques of Magazine Street. She is just a stock character in this tale. There is just enough in the story to make it interesting, to titillate and satisfy their readers just as the club girls are just naked enough to satisfy the drunks. If those readers, hurrying to dinner in the quarter, ever notice the girls huddled around a club door trying to lure in customers it is just another part of scene, a distraction just barely more tolerable than the smell of rotten garbage and stale beer.

I don’t know how Carmen’s mother deals with this story, the one the detectives said telling her was “the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life,” the story of the fall before her daughter’s death. I only know that her mother grieves publicly on a blog with a handful of messages written to her daughter [all errors in the quote sic].

I know you were being a rebellious teen, but I know I also bear some responsibility for you actions. Telling you I am sorry that I failed in some respects will do nothing. You can’t hear me and now you are gone… Today, I’m supposed to go “talk” to someone about what’s been going on with me. What no one understands is that nothing seems to be going. My life seems to be stalled without you. I have a basic I don’t give a crap attitude. I hate it but it seems sometimes to take it a life of its own. Your brother will be here soon. I sure hope I can get my crap together before he arrives. He don’t know how much I need him. I don’t want to smother him. I think he already tries to make up for you not benig here. I’m sorry I have made him feel that way.
I will write more later. I can’t wait to see you and hear your voice. I know I will have to wait………how long? I don’t know. No matter the length of time, it has already been too long. My life is just going on, basically without me…without you. I still cannot understand how life can continue without you. Well in truth it’s time going on not life… I love you Carmen. My Carmen, I dreamed of you before you existed. Love mom.

What concern of mine is Carmen? Why do I publish the lists of the dead, the mostly low-life victims? Why do check the blog stats page for links into those posts and the Internet searches that bring them in? I wonder why I plucked the story of another young girl named Chanel Sanchell? The local newspaper story doesn’t tell us much about Chanel either, what lead her out of her house that night with someone her family didnt’ know who came to the door looking for her. All I know is here in New Orleans there are too many golems with guns, soulless shells who will take a life without much more thought than to take out and light a cigarette, and they move through the life of the streets like sharks through schools of fish, predators and prey trapped together in the currents of only place they know to live.

I remember what I wrote about Chanel and it applies to Carmen as well. Whatever lead them out into the night with a stranger, a night that ended with a gunshot, both were once small children not much different than my own, as innocent as lambs in the lap of Sunday school Jesus. If their deaths cease to matter to you, matters no more than the condition of the bad schools your children didn’t attend or the trouble on streets you never cross; if the broken families of people who pulled two or three tours in Iraq don’t bother you then consider this:

The next time you see some kid on the corner eyeballing you at the stoplight, the one in the chee-wee haircut with the long white t-shirt, don’t avoid his gaze. Look straight back at him. If that bulge at his waist looks like it might be a gun don’t turn away or run the light. Look hard, as if into a mirror at your own cold and soulless reflection in his eyes.

* New Orleans Magazine does not allow links to their online publication, which raises the question why someone who so little understands the fundamental premise of what the w-w-w in a url stands for, the world wide web of links. So I guess you will just have to type all of this into your browser so that I can avoid violating their requirement by including a working link. If this translates into a link in your browser, that’s not my fault: http://www.myneworleans.com/New-Orleans-Magazine/December-2007/Violent-Night/

Minor Update: Fixed a few tipos. Someday I will have an editor, who will fix my tipos and buy me lunch every now and then. Apply within.

Kirsten Brydum Remembered January 23, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Crime, French Quarter, je me souviens, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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5 comments

As residents of the French Quarter and the entire city prepare to Remember Wendy Byrne*, I want to share this comment on my 2008 murder victim list post.

New comment on your post #1941 “Remember 2008”

Comment:
Today is Kirsten Brydum’s birthday. We celebrate in her honor her in San Francisco, CA by inviting everyone and anyone to join us in Dolores Park for a picnic and bonfire later on the beach.

Thank you for remembering and not keeping quiet about the violence the effects us all – we are all in this together (as Kirsten so aptly reminded us). Together we can unite and bring light to the darkness.

Author : Will

You can see all comments on this post here:
https://toulousestreet.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/remember-2008/#comments

* UPDATE: The Second Line for Wendy has changed to Saturday afternoon. For updates, follow HumidCity.com

* UPDATE 02-01-09 : Here’s an LA Times story on Kirsten’s Odyssey and how it ended violently in New Orleans. I worry about the naivete of some of these punk volunteer anarchist types. They’re probably not big on Marx, but I suggest the bone up on the concept of the lumpenproletariat.

*** UPDATE 02-02-09 *** Members of the Iron Rail, an anarchist collective bookstore in the Marigny, are organzing a volunteer escort service called The Brydum Tandem Project for people who need assistance or just someone to help them get home safely in the Marigy and Bywater area. Details here. Given Kirsten’s leanings, I think this is an excellent memorial and a positive activity against crime.

Remember 2008 January 8, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Crime, je me souviens, New Orleans, NOLA, Remember, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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16 comments

“as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me”
— Jesus of Nazareth

So many stories came back to me as I transcribed this list of the dead in the killing fields of New Orleans. Nicola Cotton, the NOPD officer shot by known psychotic living on the street. Seeing two suspects listed with the same last name as one of the names from the 2007 list that gets the most search hits here. A retaliation killing? I will never know

I can’t skip work for the Silence is Violence Strike Against Crime, so publishing a list again on the blog will have to count for something.

This is the second year I have published this list: for Silence is Violence, who tries to make a difference; in remembrance of the victims and to shame their killers; and, once again for Chanel, cousin of blogger The Book.

As I work through the list and see how many of the victims “cleared a murder” (were identified as the suspect in another death), or as I look at the endless parade of mugshots by which many are memorialized, what I wrote about Chanel bears repeating:

Everyone person on that [2007] list, even if they had gone down that dark path and died with a handgun in their waste band and an empty look in their eyes, all of them were once as Chanel once was, as my own children once were: as innocent as a lamb in the lap of Jesus.

They were once as young and innocent as Ja Shawn Powell.

Here on Toulouse Street, we Remember.

You can see more information, including victim photographs and short news extracts, on the Times-Picayune Murder Blog. Thanks to the Picayune and it’s staff for compiling the list and sharing the information, which is more than the NOPD can manage.

As on my 2007 list post, if you know one of the victims I invite you to leave a comment remembering them.

Dec. 27: Coty Simmons, 20
4700 block of Galahad Drive – eastern New Orleans

Dec. 22: Terry Plaisance, 25 and Joshua Simmons, 29
1 Westbank Expressway – Algiers

Dec. 17: Brian Urby, 17
7100 block of Bunk Hill Road – eastern New Orleans

Dec. 15: Herbert Broussard, 27
300 block of Decatur Street – French Quarter

Dec. 13: Kenneth Monroe, 27
2500 block of Pauger Street – 7th Ward

Dec. 13: Felix Pearson, 20
2500 block of Pauger Street – 7th Ward

Dec. 13: Darriel Wilson, 20
2500 block of Pauger Street – 7th Ward

Dec. 8: Keith Robertson, 21
1400 block of Conti Street – Cultural Center

Dec. 2: Tony Marsalis, 25
2900 block of General Taylor Street – Milan

Nov. 24: Bernard Littles, 36
Corner of Franklin Avenue and Mexico Street – St. Anthony

Nov. 21: Kendrick Peters, 20
1900 block of Cambronne Street

Nov. 19: Bernell Brock, 25
9000 block of Green Street

Nov. 19: Kevin Jarrow, 33
corner of Green and Hollygrove streets

Nov. 18: Julius Hills, 21
Corner of Third and Dryades streets – Central City

Nov. 17: Kendrick Thomas, 22
2400 block of North Villere Street

Nov. 15: Brian Thickstin, 37
2800 block of Chippewa Stree

Nov. 12: Dioplaus D. Hathorn, 19
2000 block of Pauger Street – 7th Ward

Nov. 8: Javon Green, 15
2300 block of North Derbigny Street

Nov. 8: Kevin Rowe, 35
4100 block of Willow Street – Milan

Nov. 2: Mario Cruz, 34
1900 block of Piety Street

Oct. 29: Carl L. Leblanc III, 23
6000 block of Beechcraft Street

Oct. 28: Jorel Davis, 25
6000 block of Chef Menteur Highway –

Oct. 23: Anthony Quinn, 39
3800 Edinburgh Street – Hollygrove –

Oct. 22: Jamar Douglas, 20
2100 block of Cypress Acres Drive

Oct. 20: Kevin Maxwell, 29
2900 block of Cherry Street – Hollygrove

Oct. 17: Ryan Jones, 19
3300 block of Preston Place – Algiers –

Oct. 15: Brandon Martes, 22
2500 block of Constitution Place – Gentilly

Oct. 10: Wickham M. Parlante, 37
1400 block of Bienville Street – Cultural Center

Oct. 6: Demarrielle Walker, 21
7100 block of Read Boulevard – eastern New Orleans

Oct. 6: Albert Clinton McClebb Jr., 31
Corner of L.B. Landry and Erie streets – Algiers

Oct. 6: Vernon Johnson, 35
Constance and Race streets – Lower Coliseum Square

Oct. 5: Kendrick Sherman, 18
2500 block of St. Ann Street – 6th Ward

Oct. 5: Durrell Pooler, 23
2500 block of St. Ann Street – 6th Ward

Oct. 3: Harold J. Stanwood, 24
4600 block of Clara Street – Milan

Sept. 27: Kirsten Brydum, 25
3000 block of Laussat Place – Florida

Sept. 26: Bruce William Graves, 55
4900 block of Canal Street – Mid-City

Sept. 20: Darielle Rainey, 18
1900 block of Amelia Street – Milan

Sept. 20: Leslie Cannon, 19
Corner of North Prieur Street and Ursulines Avenue – 6th Ward

Sept. 18: Darrick Jack, 19
2000 block of Franklin Avenue – St. Roch

Sept. 11: Charles Dickerson, 30
1700 block of France Street – Upper 9th Ward

Sept. 7: Mark Stone, 38
7800 block of Olive Street – Gert Town

Sept. 6: Robert Santinac, 20
1600 block of Music Street – St. Roch
Santinac was the city’s first murder victim after the city’s evacution for Hurricane Gustav.

Aug. 30: Damion McCall, 17
Intersection of Touro Street and North Roman street – 7th Ward

Aug. 28: Celeste Hall, 39
7700 block of Chef Menteur Highway – eastern New Orleans

Aug. 28: Thomas Byrne, 40
Near the Elysian Fields Avenue overpass in the 7th Ward.

Aug. 27: Justin Laird, 18
1500 Murl Street – Algiers

Aug. 24: Kenel Schneckenburg, 24
1700 block of New Orleans Street – 7th Ward

Aug. 22: Allen Ivery Jr., 24
P2000 block of Felicity Street – Central City

Aug. 22: Keenon N. McCann, 32
6100 block of Dreux Avenue – eastern New Orleans

Aug. 20: Deron Hunter, 19
1100 block of North Roman Street – 6th Ward

Aug. 19: James A. Jones Jr., 39
300 block of North Robertson Street – Cultural Center

Aug. 16: Tyone Nions, 33
1100 block of North Roman Street – 6th Ward

Aug. 16: Bryant Langston, 17
600 block of Bordeaux – Uptown

Aug. 16: Travain Jones, 18
600 block of Bordeaux – Uptown

Aug. 13: Charles Jones, 39
1000 block of Newton Street – Algiers

Aug. 11: Jessica L. Hawk, 32
3000 block of Chartres Street – Bywater

Aug. 11: Rodil Rodriguez, 44
3700 block of Dryades Street – Milan

Aug. 11: Antoine C. Pierre, 27
Corner of Josephine and Carondelet streets – Central City

Aug. 10: Devin Legaux, 33
Corner of Pauger and North Rampart streets – Marigny

Aug. 3: Kevin Ford Jr., 24
3100 block of Bruxelles Street – Broad

Aug. 3: Joshua Brown, 24
Corner of Hamburg and Lafreniere streets – Gentilly

Aug. 3: Vance Brooks Jr., 23
Corner of Hamburg and Lafreniere streets – Gentilly

July 30: Kendall Parker, 37
5600 block of Dauphine Street – Holy Cross

July 30: Roy Wolfe, 34
1700 block of South Lopez Street – Broadmoor

July 27: Gerald Thorton, 20
6300 block of Kingston Court – Algiers

July 26: Ryen Tate, 20
1300 block of South Saratoga Street – Central City

July 25: Jerrold Smith, 58
8600 block of Hickory – West Carrollton

July 25: Roy Callaway, 30-
Corner of St. Bernard Avenue and North Galvez Street

July 24: Yen Nguyen, 72
14300 block of Dwyer Road – eastern New Orleans

July 21: Lawrence Robinson, 21
1400 block of South Rampart Street – Central City

July 20: Marvin Louis, 19
8700 block of Belfast Street – Uptown

July 20: Kerry Emery, 28
3300 block of Clouet Street

July 20: Walter Miguel Jovel, 41
Corner of North Derbigny and Spain streets

July 18: Anthony Brooks, 20
3100 block of Marais Street

July 18: Deshawn “Julio” Stewart, 18
Corner of North Prieur and Laharpe streets – 7th Ward

July 15: Terence “Sporty T” Vine, 41
5100 block of Painters Street – Gentilly

July 11: Luis Fernando Cardonia-Mejia, 28
7300 block of Read Boulevard – eastern New Orleans

July 10: Mark Westbrook, 33
4300 block of Lane Street – eastern New Orleans

July 6: Mervin Simon, 22
2300 block of A.P. Tureaud Avenu

July 2: Kelly Hill, 17
2100 block of Franklin Avenue – St. Roch

June 29: Robert Irwin, 47
5000 block of South Prieur Street – Broadmoor

June 29: Alvin Wilson, 21
Corner of First and South Prieur streets – Central City

June 26: Lorenzo Larvinette, 22
Corner of North Claiborne Avenue and Bienville Street

June 25: Victor Russell, 48
6300 block of North Rampart Street

June 19: Denzel Williams, 18
1700 block of Hero Street – Algiers

June 10: John Jordan, 36
Corner of Annunciation and Market streets – Lower Garden District

June 9: Dejuan Jason, 17
3200 block of Kabel Drive – Algiers

June 9: McArthur Carter, 45
1900 block of Philip Street – Central City

June 8: Kenneth Posey, 45
Corner of 3rd and South Johnson streets – Central City

June 8: Dwayne Stewart, 38
5000 block of Basinview Drive – eastern New Orleans

June 5: Tremika Bingham, 27
4500 block of Skyview Drive – eastern New Orleans

June 5: Christopher Williams, 38
4500 block of Skyview Drive – eastern New Orleans

May 22: Christopher Lewis, 23
3900 block of Royal Street – Bywater

May 21: Kenneth Lewis, 45
3100 block of Orleans Avenue – Bayou St. John
May 21: Brenda Joyce Jackson, 57
3100 block of Orleans Avenue – Bayou St. John

May 17: Dalvin Rainey, 24
Corner of L.B. Landry Avenue and De Armas Street – Algiers

May 17: Michael Reed, 21
Corner of L.B. Landry Avenue and De Armas Street – Algiers

May 13: Darnell P. Stewart, 23
3400 block of South Claiborne Avenue – Central City –
Suspect Andre Hankton
Suspect Telly Hankton
I left the suspect note from NOLA.Com on this one. Please see my past post about George Hankton, one of the most searched names leading to last year’s post. I hope this wasn’t a retaliation killing.

May 11: Ivy Ranson III, 25
800 block of North Claiborne Avenue – Treme

May 11: Roddy Usher, 36
3300 block of Garden Oaks Drive – Algiers

May 10: Arthur Mitchell, 15
2100 block of South Robertson Street – Central City

May 5: Elijah Bentley, 21
10200 block of Castlewood Drive – eastern New Orleans

May 5: Juan Pena-Gomez, 34
4300 block of Dale Street – eastern New Orleans

May 4: Brandon McCue, 22
7700 block of Chef Menteur Highway – eastern New Orleansscene.

May 1: Lakeisha Taylor, 24
1400 block of Conti Street – Cultural Center –

May 1: Patrick Fleming, 20
2900 block of Banks Street – Mid-City

April 30: Candice Gillard, 24
10600 block of Old Gentilly Road

April 30: Jarnell Sanders, 22
10600 block of Gentilly Road

April 27: Marquise Charles, 20
2600 block of Dumaine Street – Treme

April 27: Sylvester Cash, 17
2600 block of Dumaine Street – Treme

April 26: Louis Bertholotte, 25
2100 block of A.P. Tureaud Avenue – 7th Ward

April 25: Margaret Wells, 21
2300 block of Laharpe Street – 7th Ward

April 25: Tony Wells, 22
2300 block of Laharpe Street – 7th Ward

April 25: Johnny Crawford, 20
2300 block of Laharpe Street – 7th Ward

April 23: Robert C. Hurst, 34
1300 block of Gallier Street – 9th Ward

April 20: Michael Allen, 32
4700 block of Miles Drive – Gentilly

April 19: Nathaniel Osborne, 19
2500 block of Upperline Street – Freret

April 19: Antoine Martin, 18
6000 block of Chef Menteur Highway – eastern New Orleans

April 19: Lorne Simms, 20
1400 block of North Johnson Street – 7th Ward

April 18: Yohance Shabazz, 18
2300 block of Seminole Lane – Central City

April 18: Keith Williams, 23
corner of Dufossat and Freret streets – Freret

March 25: Natasha Martin, 28
I-10 near Michoud exit – eastern New Orleans

March 24: Kraig Carney, 19
I-10 eastbound near Airline exit – Mid-City

March 24: Jason Williams, 29
3900 block of Dowman Road – eastern New Orleans

March 22: Troy Mayfield Sr., 28
8200 block of Almonaster Avenue – eastern New Orleans

March 21: Lerman Robinson, 25
1200 block of South Johnson Street – Central City

March 13: Lance Zarders, 17
1600 block of Frenchmen Street – 7th Ward

March 11: James Brooks, 46
3600 block of Lotus Street – Gentilly

March 9: Lester Harris, 37
200 block of North Robertson Street – Cultural Center

March 9: Dominque Weber, 16
1400 block of Frenchmen Street – 7th Ward

March 8: Leyon Gaines, 32
7300 block of Pitt Street – Black Pearl

March 6: Jeanell Green, 42
3300 block of Lancaster Street – Algiers

March 3: Freddie Hilton, 30
3500 block of Garden Oaks Drive – Algiers

March 2: Jerome Jones, 24
corner of Jackson Avenue and Willow Street – Central City

Feb. 29: Don Lewis Jr., 42
8900 block of Forshey Street – Hollygrove

Feb. 27: Michael Spencer, 27
3600 block of Danneel Street – Milan

Feb. 27: Brandon Spencer, 19
1300 block of St. Roch Avenue – St. Roch

Feb. 26: Leonard Fant, 53
2000 block of Elizardi Boulevard – Algiers

Feb. 26: Richon Jones, 21
1300 block of St. Roch Avenue – St. Roch

Feb. 11: Keith Harrison Jr., 25
2400 block of Allen Street – 7th Ward

Feb. 11: Nathan F. LeBlanc Jr., 21
7900 block of Bullard Avenue – East New Orleans

Feb. 8: Brian Miller, 19
2300 block of Washington Avenue – Central City

Feb. 6: Edward Causey, 26
corner of St. Mary and Annunciation streets – Lower Garden District –

Feb. 3: Javonte Morgan, 15
1700 block of North Galvez Street – 7th Ward

Feb. 3: Jadace Craft, 24
1600 block of Marigny Street – St. Roch

Feb. 2: Allen Porche, 24
1200 block of Delery Street – Lower 9th Ward

Feb. 2: Terry Robinson, 26
1200 block of Delery Street – St. Claude

Jan. 28: Nicola Cotton, 24
2100 block of Earhart Boulevard – Central City
Cotton, 24, a New Orleans Police Sixth District officer, was fatally shot in a struggle with a man she was questioning. The shooter was later determined to be psychotic.

Jan. 27: Henry Butler IV, 21
1900 block of Foucher Street – Milan

Jan. 25: Courtney Thompson, 19
corner of Abundance Street and Florida Avenue – Gentilly

Jan. 26: Joseph Canselo, 19
6400 block of General Meyer Avenue – Cutoff

Jan. 20: Bertrand Winfield
corner of Gannon Road and Hayne Boulevard – East New Orleans

Jan. 15: Altheus Myers Sr., 26
corner of Jackson Avenue and Willow Street – Central City

Jan. 14: Monroe “Money” Walker, 20
corner of Magnolia and Philip streets -Central City

Jan. 12: Gervais Nicholas, 16
corner of Tulane Avenue and South Lopez Street – Tulane

Jan. 11: Jody Johnson, 47
3600 block of Piety Street – Desire

Jan. 11: Scott Dorsey, 25
Petit Bayou Lane near Willowbrook Drive – Village de l’Est

Jan. 7 – David Sisolak Jr., 25
1700 block of Hero Boulevard – Algiers

Jan. 6: Ryan McClure, 23
5700 block of Wisner Boulevard – Gentilly

Jan. 6: Michael Augustine, 23
1100 block of Lizardi Street – Lower 9th Ward

Jan. 4: Jose Francisco Ramos, 44
100 block of Pinewood Court – Algiers

Jan. 2: Kendrick Quinn, 18
6800 block of Parc Brittany Boulevard – East New Orleans

I Hate Illinois Nazis December 23, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Federal Flood, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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The tale of some residents of Algiers setting up a vigilante militia in the days after Katrina, and one member’s boast that shooting black residents was “like hunting pheasants in South Dakota” ,have swept through the blogs and into the Times-Picayune.

The article is poorly titled “Katrina’s Hidden Race War“. I don’t think a handful of shootings qualifies as a race war. And given that the organizers of this were from out-of-state, I think I like my own headline even better.

Given that we are all forced to live with the rumors of what happened at the Dome and Convention Center, which are largely urban legends unsupported by evidence, I am glad this story has finally surfaced. That is not to say that shootings, car jackings, rapes and other assaults did not occur in the city, but not where people had assembled for safety.

You were much more likely to get shot trying to cross the Danziger Bridge that at the Convention Center.

At one level I’m glad this story came out, if only to try to lay to rest the idea that barbaric behavior after the storm was racial.The asshole from the Gretna P.D. who pointed an assault rifle at the head of an acquaintance’s son as they tried to walk across the bridge to their home in Algiers was as much of an out-of-control animal as whoever torched Oakwood and these white racists from Algiers point.

When civil society breaks down two sets of people come to the fore. The most powerful tale is of the altruists, people like the “Cajun Navy” of sportsman from all over Louisiana who arrived unbidded with their duck boats and other shallow water craft and conducted the majority of rescues in the days after.

The other group are the animals who see an opportunity to run amok. These vigilante’s think of themselves in the same glowing terms as those who made heroic rescues and gestures of relief. They are not. They are among the rabble who ran wild and lawless in the streets, and they deserve to be immortalized along with looters of televisions and shoes and the police on both banks who also run amok.

Read New Orleans Slate’s eyewitness account of life on Algiers Point after the storm.

I hate Illinois Nazis.

Remember Them All November 21, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Remember Brian Thickstnan and Kendrick Thomas, murdered in front of a broken crime camera. (See the post on Humid City).

Remembering No. 37 July 29, 2008

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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2 comments

The New Orleans Times-Picayune has started an excellent series chronicling the investigation into one of the city’s homicides. As easy as it is to pick on our on-again, off-again local newspaper, every now and then they put up something like this and you think: Pulitzer.

Having taken more than a passing interest in the forgotten victims of the city’s murder epidemic, I applaud the TP for investing the effort in this series. It reminds us that the assumption so common here–it’s happens to “them”, in “their” neighborhoods, places I would never visit; it’s all black-on-black and drug related, and so it is unimportant to me–is a false one. It’s a comfortable lie we can no longer afford.

Victim No. 37 of 2008 does not fit into that false bottomed box. We learn installment two he “had no police record. That’s rare in a New Orleans killing: As often as not, the detectives seek justice for victims who might be shooters themselves, or at least players in drugs and guns… had been an altar boy. [He]attended catechism classes at nearby Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church. He planned to be confirmed soon at the altar, the religious rite of passage into adulthood.”

When the newspaper visited his home, there was a picture of No. 37 and the only girlfriend he ever had on this desk, next to a neat stack of homework in progress. The room was littered with video games. He was by all accounts pretty much the same as my own kids. And now he is dead, guiltyof being at the wrong place at the wrong time on his way to buy some snacks at the convenience store up the street. If you have kids and live in, say, Metairie or the Northshore or even nice, mostly safe Lakeview, next time you think this happens to “them” take a hard and long look at your own child. Then tell yourself it doesn’t matter.

Lance Michael Zarders, 17, was No. 37. Thanks to this story he is not just another name on the list or a dot on a map. He has a name, and a face, and a story told. He is remembered.

If you find youself here and you know one of the anonymous victims, those who get only a line or two in the newspaper and then disappear, I encourage you to take a few moments and leave a comment. You can do it on the 2007 list post, where I still get a dozen or more vistors every day. Tell us something about them. It doesn’t matter if they were a victim in 2007 (and on that list) or 2006 or 2008. Just help us all to remember.

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Big h/t to M.D. for his 2008 tracking maps and everything else he does to make sure this issue doesn’t go away. His maps are one way in which we remember.

The Hard Questions May 8, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Crime, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
Tags: , , , , ,
4 comments

“And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.”
— Audie Lorde

Cliff of Cliff’s Crib blog asks some hard questions about crime and how people deal with it:

“Last week, when I read the story of those guys that kicked in that door on Laharpe St. and shot those three people, the first thing I thought about was “well, at least they didn’t shoot the baby. Had they shot the baby too, we would have been outraged because the baby is not part of the game. Since they let the baby live, there is part of us that considers that kind of event part of the life those folks choose to live. The question is how can that be ok when the folks in question are our family, friends, classmates, and neighbors.”

Maybe it’s not my place to jump into this discussion, since his blog post directly addresses the local African-American community and bloggers of color in particular. (Not in that quote but in the longer piece). Me, I’m as white as a truck load of of Bunny Bread. But I live here, too, and not enough people of any sort are asking the hard question: how can we just let this go one because it’s “them”, whether that’s a class them (we’re not in the ‘hood, that’s not us) or a race question (they’re black, I’m white; that’s not us).

It’s the hard question everyone in every community in this town regardless of race or section needs to be asking themselves.

I think about this every day. Earlier this year, I posted up a list of all of the people who died violently in New Orleans on this site. And not a day goes by but someone comes by searching for one of those who died. I don’t know who George Hankton was, but there seem to be a lot of people with access to the internet who cared. Someone Googling that name shows up almost every day. Still, no one who knew him leaves a comment on that page. I’ve looked out on the net myself for any more info, but there are only a couple of cryptic “my cousin died” posts on My Space pages that are marked private. The Book wrote a post about his cousin Chanell Sanchell which prompted a post of my own, but most of those who die vanish into obscurity, forgotten by all but those who knew them personally.

What happened to George Hankton (age 40, not some punk kid) and Chanell Schanell should be the concern of everyone who choses to live here, who insists on making New Orleans home. The death of every person here by violence is your concern. If you think it’s not your concern, you’re probably reading the wrong web page. This blog is primarily about New Orleans, and if you think you care about New Orleans and don’t care about the young black men (and women) dying in the streets, well, then you don’t care about New Orleans as deeply as you think you do.

The problem is none of us know what to do about it. I don’t. Cliff admits he doesn’t. Our so-called leaders sure as hell don’t have a clue. But before we get to answers, at least we ought to be able to start with some questions. We’ll take the easy ones first. How did this come about? And what can I do today that will make it stop, someday? I don’t have the answer for the 13-year olds who were just busted for sticking people up in my neighborhood. They’re the age of my own son, and may be lost already. But they probably have little brother’s and sisters going to Recovery District schools. Will they even have a chance at something better, something other than what their brothers found? Are these siblings their only role models? What about the culture these kids pick up on TV and the radio glorifying what their “big” brothers did? What about the people who profit by recording and broadcasting that?

Who are these kids’ role models? What about everyone who fled certain parts of the city but stayed “in New Orleans” (if you tell people when you’re out of town that “I’m from New Orleans, then yes that’s you regardless of where you actually live). It doesn’t matter if you fled into the suburbs and Catholic school in the early ’60s or into the East and the magnet schools in the 70s and 80s: all the people who could make a difference–white and black–seem to have turned their back on the weakest among us. This city is ringed by churches full of Good Christians who seemed to have slept through all of the homilies they ever heard.

The kids who are killing and dying, and the families they come from, were left behind like too many animals in a too small a cage with not enough to eat, and you don’t need a degree in sociology to figure out how that plays out. And now many of the best and brightest of the people who grew up in the hard neighborhoods aren’t coming back from The Evacuation. They’ve discovered a place where jobs pay decently and the schools work. They’re the next wave of the middle-class out-of-poverty story, and how many of them are staying in Atlanta or Texas or Nashville?

I think only the hand of a loving god could reach down and pluck some teenager with a pistol in his waste band off the streets and save him. I’m pretty sure I can’t, and I doubt the rest of you could either. But we have to start somewhere. The first step is to decide to give a damn. The next step is to figure out the next step. If I knew what it was I’d be charging you $1,500 for the advice and trying to sell you the companion books and tapes. I don’t have the answers, but I have an inkling of what the questions are. And thanks to Cliff (and The Book and m.d. filter) the impulse to start to ask them. That’s a beginning.

Tragedy In Two Acts April 11, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, Crime, New Orleans, NOLA, Remember, Sinn Fein, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
Tags: , , , ,
2 comments

Yesterday a jury acquired the accused killer of music teacher and Hot 8 Brass Band member Dinerral Shavers after the state’s key witness could not identify the accused in court. What, does this kid not watch TV? Its the guy in the suit at the table with the lawyers you don’t know. Jeezus.

I won’t recount the whole sad tale. You can read about it here. The aftermath of Shavers’ shooting as a comedy of errors sandwiched between two tragedies: Shavers’ death and the failure of the N.O.P.D. and district attorney’s office to bring a sense of justice and closure to Shavers’ family and friends.

Shavers’ killing and that of artist and filmmaker Helen Hill galvanized the city in 2007, leading to a crime march by thousands of Orleanians to their City Hall to demand that the police, courts and city find a way to stop the killings.

The judge’s final remarks were a pointed comment on what is going down on the streets of New Orleans:

“This is like Baghdad,” [Judge Jerome] Winsberg told the jury after reading their verdicts aloud.

People are shooting each other over neighborhood alliances, he noted; children are not only raising themselves, but being left to care for toddlers and babies in the 2200 block of Dumaine Street.

Winsberg said he wasn’t commenting on the verdict, just the four days of testimony that preceded it. A subset of New Orleans unfolded in court, the judge said, one in which no one seems to live with their parents, but guns and “beefs” and threats are ever-present.

I will have the sad privilege of seeing the Hot 8 at a private event later today, and telling them how sorry I am for how all this played out. The band will be at French Quarter Fest tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Wollenberg Park. I encourage you to come out and show these guys some love today.

Remember Chanel, Remember Them All February 29, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, Dancing Bear, je me souviens, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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11 comments

Ever since I posted a list of all of the New Orleans dead of 2007, not a day goes by that this site is not visited by people searching for their loved ones on the internet. Yesterday, someone searched the internet for “chanell sanchell new orleans”.

Today, we’re going to remember Chanel. I didn’t know this person. That doesn’t matter. If we only choose to remember the people we knew, or the people like us, then remembrance is an act of selfishness. If we only worry about people who look like us or move in our circles and places, then it will never end.

It doesn’t matter that I did not know her or her family. It only matters that she has joined The Ghosts. To be among the ghosts is not to be denied the heaven of one’s dreams. It is to be in an honored host, as honored as those who stand at the foot of the throne if you tend to that version. It is to be remembered, to be a part of the city forever.

Here is Chanel’s story from Nola.com. From the news reports, she sounds like a good kid who ran with the wrong crowd. Perhaps it was the only crowd she knew, was full of the faces she knew from the time she first toddled down the steps of a building in St. Bernard on her own two feet, a crowd that perhaps included her first best girlfriend, the first boy she kissed. How easy it would be for someone like Chanel to fall in with that crowd, the people she grew up with good and bad, and to suddenly find herself on the wrong side of an argument with one of the bad in that crowd, one of the worst; an argument that ended with a gun shot through the heart.

Here is a blog post from a cousin. I think The Book and the comments on his blog say more than I can. Or read the comments on this post from last October at m.d. filter.

Many of those on the lists I and m.d. filter have published are otherwise invisible on the internet. There is only the list, perhaps a mention on this blog or m.d. filter. For most, there is a brief paragraph in the Times-Picayune. “The coroner has identified… Detective so-and-so is investigating. Call Crimestoppers…”. That is all; nothing more.

If you are one of those who stumbles onto this blog looking for someone you knew, please take a moment to leave some memorial in the comments. I know you are out there, looking for something about this person. You can leave your messages anonymously. Or you can email me and I will post it as a comment. Everyone person on that list, even if they had gone down that dark path and died with a handgun in their waste band and an empty look in their eyes, all of them were once as Chanel once was, as my own children once were: as innocent as a lamb in the lap of Jesus. Someone, somewhere who uses the internet remembers them not as a name on a list but as a person. (I know because you come looking for them.) Tell us something about that person. Tell us what you perhaps said or wish you had said when the minister at the funeral asked if anyone wanted to speak.

Some of us chose to remember, like the bone men. I want the dead and the living to know that we remember, that in this city there are many who remember. We will never forget one of you.

Update: I also just found this blog, which mostly captures police reports about violent crime in NOLA.

Update 5-16-08: Corrected spelling of Chanel’s name (except in the Google reference, because that’s how they find this page), per her cousin who published The Book blog.

Silence is Violence Remembers January 11, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, Crime, Debrisville, je me souviens, New Orleans, NOLA, We Are Not OK.
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25 comments

Update: Not a day passes that this page isn’t visited by someone searching for the name of a person on the list below. As I suggested here in a more recent post, if you knew one of these people I encourage you to take a minute and leave a memorial comment. Be a part of the dialogue of remembrance.

Silence is Violence will mark the one-year anniversary of the New Orleans March on Crime with a press conference at noon today, Jan. 11 2008, on the steps of City Hall, and an evening concert at the Howlin’ Wolf.

Blogger md filter (formerly da po boy), who tracks issues around crime, lists those who died in needlessly in violence in 2007. The list is below.

Remember. Silence is Violence.

Corey Hayes
Cedric Johnson
Hilary Campbell Jr.
Randall Thomas
Kevin Williams
Helen Hill
Jealina Brown
Steve Blair
Jeffery Santos
Chivas Doyle
Christopher Ruth
Tyrone Andrew Johnson
Ronald Holmes
James McGittigan Jr.
Roy Warner Jr.
Eldon Gaddis
David Crater
Daniel Allen
Chrishondolaye Lamothe
Tamara Gabriel
Robert Dawson
Michael Dunbar
Damon Brooks
Ivan Brooks
Alden Wright
Harrison Miller
Roy Grant
David Cagnalatti
Lionel Ware III
Aaron Allen
Josh Rodrigue
Herbert Preston
Byron Love
Ronnie Keelen
Mitchell Pierce
Kevin Pham
Kevana Price
Warren Thompson
Glynn Francois Jr.
Sean Robinson
Larry Ramee III
Warren Simpson
Antoine Williams
Terry Despenza
Eldridge Ellis
Travis Johnson
Phillip R. Boykins
Charley Zeno
Carl Anthony McLendon
Terry Brock
Cleveland Daniels
Alexander Williams
Terry Hall
Dominic Bell
Gregory Singleton
Damont Jenkins
Troy Thomas
Artherine Williams
Keith Moore
Nicholas Smith
Eligio Bismark Espinoza
Daniel L. Prieto
Curtis Helms Jr.
Troy Dent
Curtis Brenson
Michael Combs
Jay Landers
Mark Oneal
Corey Coleman
Emanuel Gardner
Edward Charles Balser
Arthur Dowell
Montrell Faulkin
Anthony Placide
Ernest Williams
Harry Heinzt Jr.
Robert Billiot
Willie Simmons
Tammie Johnson
Larry Hawkins
Terrell Ceazer
George Hammond
Persale R. Green
Joseph Magee
Albert Phillips
Samuel Gonzales
Darryl Williams
Robin Malta
Jason Wynne
Jerrell Jackson
Christopher Roberts
Samuel Williams Jr.
Jeremy Tillman
Jennifer Williams
Gary Walls
Arthur Jackson IV
Henry Newman
Johnny Martin III
Travan Coates
Jeffery Tate
Jerome Banks
Eric Fobbs
Keith Page
Adrian Davis
Paul Burks
Leon Williams Jr.
Dallas Jerome
James Johnson
Anthony White
Dellshea LeBlanc
John W. Barrow III
Kevin Underwood
Pablo Mejia Jr.
unidentified man
Thomas Jackson
unidentified man
Demond Phillips
Michael Phillips
Luong Nguyen
Anjelique Vu
Terry Johnson
Chauncy Smith
Cornelius Curry
Nia Robertson
Kadeem Wise
Percy Read
Freddie Davis II
Edwin Stuart
Corwin Shaffer
Julio Benitez-Cruz
Wilford Holmes
Perry L. Oliver
Donald Gullage
Kong Kham Vongvilay
Wisan Inthamat
Boon Roopmoh
Louis Heim
Brandon Snowton
Carnell Wallis
Thomas Dominick
Larry Gooden
Gerald Howard
Larry Butler Jr.
Phillip A. Carmouche Jr.
unidentified man
Aaron Harvey
Mario Anthony Green
Jason Snyder
Perry Watts
Lionel J. Hills
Warren Martin
Dwayne Landry
Don Smith
Demetrius Gooden
Townsend Bennett
unidentified man
Thelonius Dukes
Gregory Hayes
Charles Miller
Eddie Bernard
unidentified man
Carmen Leona Reese
Cedrick Brooks
Waldon Howard
unidentified man
Antwon McGee
Jason Anderson
Archie Solet
Shana Thomas
Brian Lee
David Bryan Alford Jr.
Brett Jason Jacobs
Howard Pickens
Darryl Daggons
Matthew Qualls
Aubrey Powell
John Batiste
Toran Landry
Anthony Walker
Lester Denis
Cardero Davis
Javier Sanchez
Julian Mathins
Theodore J. Leach
Daniel Baham
Jubbar Scott
Tyrone Lanaux Jr.
Andre Toussaint
Eddie Spiller
Carlos Miller
Sheldon Dean
Rigoberto Dominguez
Angela Thomas Bryant
Brandon Brown
Jermaine Turner
Alejandro Pecina Ruiz
George Hankton III
Aaron Williams
Frank Whittington
unidentified person
Jesse Jones
Chanell Sanchell
James Jones
Wendell Millro
Elizabeth Chapman
Clayton Johnson Jr.