Saturday, May 14, 2016

Open Heart / Close Case: A Cultural Crusade; A Movement of Faith

When we are at the worst times of our lives, when we are battling with something, or struggles, whatever it may be, when we are at our highest point as well, when things are going really well, we want somebody to comfort us and be there for us and to say, 'Well done.' 

That's Jesus! 

Russell Carrington Wilson
American football quarterback for the 
Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League.

In the midst of grief and recovery at the murder of our daughter, 
we have been comforted by the Invisible Hand and Visible Hands of God. 
In the midst of the storms, He has been there for us. 
We thank Him for Loving Us with an Exceedingly Gracious Love. 
It is a Love that we pray that even our enemies would someday know for themselves.

Many of you know what my wife and I have suffered.
Not because you read it. Not because you heard about it on the news.
You know the suffering because you have lived it.
Your weren't seeking the fame or even desired the emptiness of burying your child before your appointed time. Some of you have held your child to your bosom as their final breath escaped between their clinched teeth. 
Blood spilled upon the pavement as if water from a spring. 
Seemingly, East of the River, Just Another Life Gone.

To you, it's your baby.

When the cameras are gone and the funeral over, 
the door closes and the darkness falls. 
All you know is Jesus.
We ask at this time that everyone to please stand with each Representative of an 
Unresolved Homicide East of the River. 
Please extend your love to all of these families.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.Ephesians 6:12 King James Version (KJV)

We face a challenge that seems to evade a solution.
With over 3,500 unresolved homicides in the District of Columbia, 
there seems to be a loss of purpose in satisfying the cry of victims and their families. 
The cry is as startling as the response to it is mute.
The cry is for justice.
The response is silence. 

While we attempt to find resources in an over $13 Billion City Budget to build dirt bike parks, families of unresolved homicides must be satisfied that the number of Cold Case Detectives have fallen from 8 in 2015 to 7 in 2016.  There is no political will in an election year to salve the wounds of broken families and distressed neighborhoods.  Only the call to pander to those that defy the law, terrorize the City and demand tribute in order to stay their prosecution of those that abide the laws.  While families bury their murdered children, elected leaders meet with the parents and riders of "illegal" dirt bikes to provide a "safe place" for them to ride.   

One elected leader, so smitten with their abilities, is willing too vouch for the character of an entire group merely upon meeting them.  What a confidence one should have when a murder is unresolved and political and administration leaders are negotiating deals for building dirt bike parks rather than hiring more detectives to solve cases.  If elected leaders nullify the laws of the City through closed door pursuits, maybe it is time for Citizens to nullify legal challenges and restrictions to their ability to protect themselves through open door quests.

The will to appease the desires of the socially discontented supersedes the Will of the People to enforce and prosecute the law to the fullest extent.  What does one do when a city's elected representatives lack the political will to protect those that ceded power to them in exchange for security and protection.  We watch as victims are blamed for being in the "wrong place at the wrong time" and culprits are offered per diem for promising not to be bad anymore.  My bad!  As long as there is social justice, natural justice is acceptably denied.

While we know that we face a human trafficking problem in the City that puts our must vulnerable population—children--at risk, Our City Council's Judiciary Committee seems to be unable to find time to schedule a hearing to consider the Proposed Relish Rudd Law

Summer has not yet dawn, even with the attentions paid to the matter of murder and mayhem in the City, homicides are higher in comparison to last year. 
In 2015 at this time, there were 40 homicides. 
Today, there are 42.
Violent crime is up 8% overall.
The most heartbreaking statistic can be found in the unresolved homicide category. Of the 18, black males represent 15 or 83%.

Much work must still be done.

Although I end my tenure as Chairman of the Public Safety Arm of the Anacostia Coordinating Council, renamed the Open Heart Close Case Campaign in memory of Charnice Milton, I believe that we can offer solutions.

For the Faith Community, there are three recommendations requiring immediate attention.

Each of the East of the River Churches should host a Prayer Event Regarding Violence and Reach Out to Victims' Families to Provide Comfort and Support.

Each of the East of the River Churches Should Have A Representative that Serves As A Clergy Ambassador to the United States Department of Justice.

Demand A Public Hearing of the DC City Council Judiciary Committee--Councilmember Jack Evans, Councilmember Mary M. Cheh, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Councilmember LaRuby May, and Councilmember Anita Bonds--to discuss:

(A) The Few Personnel Involved in Unresolved Homicides and Contracting Private Detectives to Assist in Resolving Such Cases;
(B) Passage of The Relisha Rudd Law by the End of the Fiscal Year; and
(C) Fully Funding Victims Services.

Each Pastor and His or Her Congregation Should Contact Kate Mitchell, Committee Director, (202) 727-8275, kmitchell@dccouncil.us to demand this.  Immediately.

As my tenure ends, I extend thanks to our Pastors Eugene and Patrice Sheppard of Living Word Church for nominating me for this post.  Thanks to Phil Pannell and the Anacostia Corrdinating Council (ACC) for accepting me to the post.  Thanks Rev. Donald Isaacs, Sr., Director of the of the Mayor's Office of Religious Affairs, and Perry J. Moon, Executive Director, Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, Inc. for their support and encouragement.

We will continue our work privately through Open Heart/Close Case to resolve homicides, find missing persons and recover exploited children.  As He has comforted us in our dimmest moments and raised us from our prostrate leanings, we will not stop, cease or desist or surrender our will to do His Will for all of those that suffer.  We will, alone or in collaboration, labor with those that are willing to pursue justice and resolution for all that are weary from their losses.  
We are no longer a campaign.  
We are a movement.  
We are a cultural crusade.

Thank You and God Bless.

1 comment:

  1. I am hoping that who the next person to fill the chair they will continue to fight for these issues to be resolved.