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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

DC'S CULTURE OF FEAR AND DEATH: WHAT SHALL I DO?






One of the most detestable yet, essential, processes of judicial exercise is witnessing.  Both art and science, the term “witness” is derived from the Greek martyr, meaning to “care, trouble, be anxious or thoughtful”.  From Sanskrit smarati, it means "remember" and from the Latin memor "mindful".  In our society, the call to witness has been gutlessly denied by the proverbial street code principle that “snitchers get stitches”.  The ideal of being self-sacrificial is doused by the icy waters of “self-preservation”.  Many wonder what this culture produces.  One is the seed that bears a culture of life and prosperity.  The other seed bears a culture of death and fear.  It is the ability of people to evolve from a spirit of “I will do” to a spirit of “what will I do”.  We have grown from a resolute manner of “defend and protect” to a painful custom of “look away and deny”.  This is not merely an observation of Urban America but all facets of our Nation are diseased as such.  In order to change our culture, we must become martyrs willing to reclaim the virtues of a Great Nation under God.




What cultural institutions have become, complacent and even complicit in this new custom in the “Land of the Free”?  Individuals fear the police state will arrest them for legally protecting themselves while criminals advantage themselves in gun-free zones and gun control cities.  Families lose children to the Missing Persons List and Unresolved Homicide List while politicians speak of building a new recreation center to replace them.  Our economy suffers for where a man does not feel safe, he will not build and invest.  Where there is lack of capital, poverty persists.  Where poverty increases, hopelessness endures.  Leaving only three options: flee, fight or persists.  Those with a desire for greater risk and thus, greater gain, are mobile.  They flee and take their abilities and capital with them.  Those that fight exhaust themselves over time and either flee as those before them or persist hoping that progressive policies will result in success for all.  Unfortunately, they exhaust half a century of a war on poverty and watch as their neighborhoods—err, I mean communities—fall by the wayside, anxiously awaiting the antidote of government intervention and tax enforcement to remedy what ails.  Those that will persist will seek any means necessary to demand redistribution, stymy growth with price control and budgetary promises and command peace officers to disband and allow public chaos and riot. 

Positive signs include fewer uninsured children overall and the all-time high in national high school graduation rates, although McCarthy cautioned that many students are still not sufficiently proficient in math and reading.

He said the foundation calls for a “two-generation approach” that invests in parents and children, including support systems like tax credits, job training and food stamps, as well as much greater investment in early education. He also said that businesses could do more, including schedule employees with flexible work hours.

 Patrick McCarthy, President,
Annie E Casey Foundation, Kids Count Data Book 2013

Our educational system is so corrupt that we have convinced parents to give drugs to perfectly healthy children in order to keep them motionless in the classroom.  Common core and “teaching to the test” have replaced individual victory plans for students.  Our nation has put a price on failure and it comes to the budget table annually requesting an increase in its spending.  Unfortunately, we believe it more important to feed the “ideals” of education success and starve the “facts” of education performance.  We all suffer the misery of the results.

Our government wants you to believe that they do not know where synthetic marijuana came from and that they are adamantly opposed to it because it’s dangerous.  All while legalizing organic marijuana, creating price controls that heighten interest in the black market and outlawing synthetic marijuana but not natural marijuana.  Heck, why don’t you lower the standards so that even children with a doctor’s note can get marijuana?  No sane person would allow children to use medical marijuana and risk them becoming synthetic marijuana users!  It would certainly not be a government that has for years spent the treasury’s wealth advising children not to use drugs.  Is it possible that the culture of fear and death industries have infiltrated our government and left our children at risk? 

Court documents reveal that Sutherland, a 2013 American University graduate, was stabbed 30 to 40 times after the attacker tried to grab a cellphone tucked into Sutherland’s waistband.  Police said that after stabbing Sutherland, the assailant threw the cellphone to the floor and returned to stomping the victim’s body.

“Suspect in July 4 fatal Metro stabbing speaks out in D.C. Superior Court” By Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post (July 17)

Jasper Spires, according to a police report, kicked two officers in the legs as they handcuffed him.  Apparently, assault on a Metropolitan Police Officer was not a serious enough crime for to keep him in lock-up.   Yeah, you can kick and stomp a Peace Officer and only be charged a misdemeanor.  A Law enforcement officer is the answer that registers only 100 points on the Jeopardy TV Show. 

Alex:  For 100 points, what is a misdemeanor in DC? 
Jasper:  Alex, what is slapping the daylights out of a DC Police Officer?
Alex:  Jasper, that’s right!  Pick a Category.
Jasper:  I’ll have Culture of Fear and Death for 500, Alex.
Alex:  What Do Metro Train and 30 – 40 Slashes Have in Common?
Jasper:  I Don’t Believe You Have Probable Cause to Ask Me that Question, Alex!

Our government would prefer that you look away from the screen and believe that all is well.  It is not.  Our children are missing and being sold into sex trafficking operations.  Our children are being slain on the streets and a limited resource of officers and detectives are called upon to remedy the list of Unresolved Homicides.  Ssssssssh!  No talking about the issues unless you are intending to blame our inability to perform on a lack of resources, global warming, a lack of affordable housing or simply, we need more jobs training.  In the words of Democrat Alderman Jeffrey Boyd (STL-Ward 22), “If you want a job, go get a job!”  I concur.  I also believe that it is time to march.  We need to march down to the District Building and hold the City’s Judiciary Committee accountable.  Liberal Talking points will not heal our City’s issues with Missing Persons and Unresolved Homicides.




Finally, our Faith community needs to be held accountable.  I like to thank Pastor Wellington Boone for leading me to this Scripture:  Ezekiel 22: 23-31.  Many of you are so tied to the religions of ideology and status that you cannot react in a manner that is decent for the hour at hand.  You have sold the souls of your church to the government and now seek only to appease those in power.  It is far easier to preach fiery rhetoric from the pulpit when it is a “white police officer killing a black man in the community” but where is the muster of your homily when your lambs are slain before you by men of ill-repute in your “community”?  You have preached so long to appease and comfort women that you cannot assemble your men to protect and defend the most precious treasures in the House of God—your people!  Your city reeks.  Boys using the tools of men are slaying the babes before you.  Your answer is?  We’ll get a committee together and have a meeting.  Listen, the answers are before you.  It is not enough to fill the seats if there is no REAL change in the hearts of men, the servant leaders of cities and the Nations before you.  Instead of holding your Holy Convocation in a well ventilated, air conditioned conference center, why not take your ministers of music and Word and reach those in the most dangerous “communities”. 

“We can’t? “

“Why?”

“Because that’s dangerous!”

Yeah, it is.  However, salvation and correction requires moving beyond the comforts of your cathedral and reaching “the least, the last and the lost”.   Booker T. Washington said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”  When it takes three weeks for someone to announce that a little girl is missing from a homeless shelter, we have an obstacle.  When after two months, none can say who killed a “daughter of the community”, even with film evidence, we have an obstacle.  When more than 80% of the persons on the Unresolved Homicide List are Black men, we have an obstacle.  When only three Pastors respond to a vigil call that speaks to the condition of the poorest communities in the District’s history, we have an obstacle.  When the Houses of Worship have gone silent over the deaths of persons, over the tyranny of the bureaucracy and the hopelessness of the people, MEN OF GOD, we have an obstacle.

GET UP OFF YOU KNEES and RESPOND TO THE CRIES OF YOUR PEOPLE!

How can you help now?  I am glad that you asked.

Number One.  Join the Relisha T. Rudd Law Campaign.  Contact Rebecca Taylor, Campaign Coordinator, for further instruction.  Go to the Facebook Link for the Campaign.  



Number Two.  Please sign and send the following letter to each of the Judiciary Committee members of the DC City Council.  I am ok with copy and paste and please add your address.  The more members hear from you, the greater the chance of a public hearing.  Every Life Matters.  The Finding of Missing Persons and the Resolution of Cold Cases Matters, Too!







The Honorable Kenyan McDuffie, Chair Pro Tempore
DC City Council Judiciary Committee Chair
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004 

Dear Chairman McDuffie: 

This is a letter of request for a Public Oversight Hearing of the Metropolitan Police Department's Unresolved Homicides and Missing Persons Division. We extend our concerns to include collaborative agencies as Commission on Fathers, Men and Boys, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety & Justice, Forensic Health and Science Laboratories, Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, Office of Victims Services and any other deemed essential to reducing the number of outstanding Unresolved Homicides and Missing Persons in the District of Columbia. 

The Committee on the Judiciary is responsible for all legislation related to criminal, civil, and administrative law in the District of Columbia. It also oversees all of the District’s public safety agencies, conducting hearings to hold agencies and their directors accountable for performance and spending. The Committee also serves as the Council's liaison with federal partners in the justice system. We are counting upon your Committee to avail itself to public hearing the multiple concerns and solutions to reduce the crisis of Missing Person and Unresolved Homicide. District Citizens Relisha Rudd and Charnice Milton have garnered International attention for the distinctions of Missing Person and Unresolved Homicide.  Relisha Rudd's disappearance from a DC Homeless Shelter went without report to the Metropolitan Police for three weeks. Sarah Stein, PhD of The Center for the Resolution of Unresolved Crime advises that over 85% of children missing after three hours are found dead.  Unfortunately, we have not found Relisha Rudd. We believe that if Relisha's absence was reported earlier then, we would have had a better chance of finding her. Hence, we propose the Relisha T Rudd Law which would require mandatory reporting of missing children under age 13 within 24 hours of their noted absence. We must hold parents and guardians accountable for the care of their children. We believe this measure will reduce threats of death, violence and kidnapping and preserve our City's families and public safety.

Charnice Milton was murdered in Southeast Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. She lived, worked and worshiped in her Native City.  A graduate of Ball State University, she earned a Master's Degree from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.   Milton covered Wards 6, 7 and 8 for the Capital Community News.  She was on her way home from the monthly meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee when she was used as a human shield by a gang member avoiding a direct shot from a rival gang member.  On the night that the Honorable Mayor Muriel Bowser visited our home to extend condolences on behalf of the City, Charnice Milton was placed on the City’s Cold Case List.  The name of the List has since been changed to Major Case/Unresolved Homicides however, unchanged is our daughter’s place on the list.  


On May 27, 2015, she was the 31st added.  Today, there are 48 and growing.  The MPDC's Major Case/Cold Case Unit is composed of eight detectives.  With over 100 Major Case/Unresolved Homicides in the past two years, it must be daunting for such a small staff to bring closure to such a significant compilation of cases.  We must answer why a City of this magnitude, after years of community policing, has great duress in resolving homicides.  Our concern is not why someone was murdered or the content of the character of the person that was murdered.  We are concerned that a father, mother, sister, brother or other is unable to know peace because the homicide is unresolved.  The City should not sleep until every family has been restored by the resolution of each.  The City’s efforts aid in bringing closure for families and friends suffering emotional dissonance and reassures public safety.  We believe that a review of people, processes and performances must be done publicly. 
We thank you for taking to review this request and seek a public hearing on these matters very soon.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. 



Cc        Councilmember Jack Evans, Judiciary Committee member, jevans@dccouncil.us
            Councilmember Mary Cheh, Judiciary Committee member, mcheh@dccouncil.us
            Councilmember LaRuby May, Judiciary Committee member,   LMay@DCCOUNCIL.US
            Councilmember Anita Bond, Judiciary Committee member, abonds@dccouncil.us
            Kate Mitchell, Judiciary Committee Director, kmitchell@dccouncil.us



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