Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Just Live By Faith. The Unjust Live By the Silence of Mankind Washington, DC in May 2018: 59 Homicides and 26 Unsolved

The Just Live By Faith.  The Unjust Live By the Silence of Mankind
Washington, DC in May 2018: 59 Homicides and 26 Unsolved

She held me this morning.  Dressed in her finest athletic garb to visit the local gym, Francine Milton was filled with a sorrow that neither time nor the kind expression of condolence could heal.  She is a Godly woman and a smile is often drawn across her face when she listens to the ever encouraging sounds of Mercy Me, Big Daddy Weave, or Lauren Daigle.  It was the words of "I Can Only Imagine" that pierced her soul on the day that she buried our daughter, Charnice Milton.  

Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
To my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all

As the tears slowly streamed down from the side of her eye to the softness of her cheek, I watched as she dreamed of seeing her daughter dancing and singing before Christ.  She was not merely a singer before the congregation on Sunday mornings.  O, Charnice could "SANG".  She wanted to be there to hear God say to Charnice: "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."  Francine had been there for everything in the course of Charnice's life.  She never missed a moment.  In this one, she could not embrace the love of her life.  As I released her from this mournful embrace, I could see her desire to dance and sing with her daughter again; her desire to hold her in her arms and kiss her forehead;  her desire to hear her voice one last time.  Through the darkness of sorrow, a mother's desire for her child burns with the hope of the ages.

She grieves still.

On Sunday, May 27, 2018, Francine and I will celebrate the wonderful life of Charnice Milton and as well, mournfully remember how she was taken from us.  A bold and brilliant woman whose life was stolen by a man who valued his life above hers.  Charnice was merely a bullet-proof vest.  A woman of little worth she was in his eyes.  Just an ordinary thing to keep him from knowing the ultimate sacrifice of gang violence--death.  In a moment, Chanice was judged to be, not a warm and gentle human being, but, an inanimate object that after usage could be discarded as a tissue upon the ground.  A woman no more was she.  She was merely a shield to save his life.  

The most challenging thing about her murder is that none saw it.  No, she was not murdered in a parking garage beneath the Nation's Capital or in some God-forsaken alley-way.  She was shot and killed in front of a well-lit retail area on three of the busiest thoroughfares in the City--Naylor Road SE, Alabama Avenue SE, and Good Hope Road SE.  The two gang members were accompanied by fourteen others.  None have come forward.  Yet, of the criminal element, silence is to be expected.  O, what grace of the Lord it would be if the consciences of these men and the others, including the women that rode of the backs of their all-terrain vehicles (ATV), were provoked into standing all men and confessing their guilt.  Then, true justice would be served and our neighbors would be at ease.  

For the man that pulled the trigger and the man that chose her to be his human shield, I wonder how their lives have been over the past three years.  Are they trembling with fear that someone will expose the truth to save their own lives from the judgments or eh criminal justice system?  At night, do tears fall from their eyes in grief over their actions and what it has meant to a family that may be merely a block away from their bedroom?  As they see her face on television screens around the country, do they hope that they can suppress the desire to speak freely?  Three years have passed.  They, in spite of their actions, may have been blessed by God to conceive and bring life into this world.  O, how great it is to hold in your hands the very image of yourself and the one that you loved.  However, when you look into the eyes of your flesh and blood, do you think of how fragile life is and how the next bullet fired in the Inner-City may end the life of the child that you hold so dearly?  As a woman having carried the child to term for nine months, do you ever think of how you will feel if you lost the one that you bore because he or she was considered just a thing and not your beloved child?  I pray not against those that have taken our beloved Chanice from us.  Lord knows that I pray for them, daily.  I pray that God will strengthen them as men and women to confess and bring about fitful justice.  I pray for their families that have been burdened with the desire to preserve the freedoms and liberties of the guilty at the forsaking of the life and peace of the innocent.  I pray for the grandmother that knows and must carry this grueling trial of secrecy to the pew every Sunday.  With folded hands and closed eyes, they cling to the Mighty Hands of Jesus that they do not have to ever do for others what she prays the guilty will do for themselves. 

So what do you pray for?  You must be filled with vengeance and bitter hatred!

I pray that they guilty ones shall walk in the peace and prosperity of Jesus Christ.  Peace and prosperity do not eliminate the penalties for their actions.  Their Faithfulness shall allow them to walk in the stature of the Son of God "in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man".  We pray that they love God with all of their hearts, their minds, their souls, and their strengths and that they learn to love their neighbors as they have loved themselves.  As children of Faith, Francine and I believe that God's justice will prevail in His Kingdom, no matter which realm we are in.  However, it is a more noble thing that those that have done evil against others confess their hearts and submit to their penalties for the good of themselves and their neighbors.

This, however, brings us the greatest conundrum to consider.  If our neighbors know who is guilty amongst use then, why do they remain silent?  As well, why does the public accept the justifications of the silence as just and pure?  Not a theorist of conspiracies, however, there must be something to it that the Nation promotes the theme "If You See Something, Say Something" yet, one in three homicides go unsolved.  Criminologists estimate that at least 200,000 murders in the United States have gone unsolved since the 1960s.  Is this a new phenom?  In a July 15, 2015 editorial, "Chairman Mendelson: "Relisha Rudd" and "Charnice Milton" Demand a Hearing", I wrote: 

"I was told that her killers were on all-terrain vehicles and other recreational vehicles.  Like champions of public safety, I heard the Council and DC Agencies jump out to really solve the crime.  "Go after the ATVs and synthetic marijuana!  That will solve these unsolved cases."  Huh?  The long and short of it is that my daughter's killers were able to get away with murder in Washington, DC.  In fact, my daughter was unresolved case No. 31 at the time of her slaying, May 27, 2015.  It's July 15, 2015 and there are 48 unresolved homicides and my daughter remains listed."

Maybe things are different now that Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chief Peter Newsham celebrated the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Departments' increase to 71% in the homicide closure rate for 2017, up from 70% in 2016 and 62% in 2015.  Unfortunately, as of the third anniversary of the heinous murder of Charnice Milton, the trend may be short-lived. 

“My heart continues to go out to the families who have lost loved ones to senseless violence. We will not be satisfied with any level of violence in our community, and we will work hand-in-hand with Washingtonians to continue building a safer, stronger DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “When we have individuals who terrorize our community, we will do everything in our power to bring those people to justice.” 

As of May 25, 2018, the Nation's Capital reports a dramatic 48% increase in homicides from 2017.  The City's MPD reports 59 murders to date versus 40 at the same time last year.  In perspective, the homicide closure rate has improved.  In May 2017, 40 homicides had been reported and 30 of those went unsolved.  That is a whopping seventy-five percent (75%)!  We are to be satisfied that the to date closure rate is better.  Of the 59 murder cases, 26 have gone unsolved, which is forty-four percent (44%).  

My Neighbor, what is the difference between 2017 where there were fewer murders and more unsolved and our current year where there are more homicides and fewer unsolved?  In a National Public Radio interview, Practical Homicide Investigation: Tactics, Procedures, and Forensic Techniques (4th edition) Vernon Geberth, a retired, self-described NYPD "murder cop" believed that standards for charging someone are higher now — too high, in his opinion and thinks prosecutors nowadays demand that police deliver "open-and-shut cases" that will lead to quick plea bargains.  As well, the distrust between the police and our neighbors greatly increases the chances that a murder or homicide in our neighborhoods will go unsolved.  In 2016, police nationwide cleared forty-six percent (46%) of all violent crimes.  Clearance is a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) measure of cases closed, or "cleared" through the arrest, charging, and referral of a suspect for prosecution.  Clearance does not equal clearance.  A culprit may be identified without the possibility of arrest — if the suspect has died.  Most of the crimes that are reported to police are not solved

So how do we solve more cases?  The politicians say that past performance is not a guarantee of future failures.  Vote them and the world will change.  The white shirts say we need more money in our budget and new technologies.  The blue shirts say that the white shirts should leave them alone and let them do their jobs.  The community leaders say that the blue shirts need to stay out of their communities oppressing and haranguing the people and arresting innocent culprits because of the color of their skin.  Criminals say nothing and encourage the community to do likewise.  in fact, they seek the protection of those with access and influence to keep their operations vibrant and ever imposing.  So what do the neighbors say?  Nothing.  There is silence.

In "Why Do People Stay Silent In The Face Of Evil?", Ben Shapiro wrote, "The answer is almost always the same: they didn’t speak up — and we don’t speak up — because we’re seeking to protect something.  Not someone — we often despise those we protect. Something.  Something larger: a political or religious institution, a cause or piece of art.  It’s easy to ignore abuses of individuals when we can minimize them as collateral damage in pursuit of a higher goal."  What are my neighbors protecting, if it is not the sixteen (16) individuals involved in the murder of Charnice Milton?  Is it the narrative that gun control stops gun violence?  Is it that the prison reform begins with keeping the guilty out of prison?  Whatever is said must be done in the cover of darkness.  It is a dearth that covers families and friends in endless sorrow, suffering, and regret.  It requires men, women, and children to live by Faith.   

We must have a confident belief in the truth and its revealer, the values that put Christ ahead of any contrasting agenda, or the trustworthiness of our neighbor.  Why do we need His Faith in this City?  In DC, the Memorial Day Weekend began violently.  Five men were shot and one of them was killed.  Alexander Mosby, a 39-year-old D.C. resident, and business owner, was shot just before 2 a.m. Saturday on the 2200 block of Savannah Terrace SE.  He was taken to a hospital, where he died.  He was one of the business partner's of the Anacostia clothing store "District Culture".  Officials are offering a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.  Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at (202) 727-9099.

We pray that our neighbors will not close their blinds and convict themselves to eternal silence.  In the end, it is only by His Faith that Charnice's and Alexander's murders will be solved.  Long before the hot summer of 2018, the trend does not look good.  It is His Faith that propels us to rebuild and to live again.  In a moment that reveals the despair of our culture, we have a good hope.  

The Just Live By Faith.  The Unjust Live By the Silence of Mankind.  

An Urban Conservative Whose Mission Is to Spread the Good News of Christianity, Conservatism, Capitalism, Constitutionalism, and Individual Sovereignty throughout the World.  Devoted to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, He Believes that in Order to Save the United States, We Must Mutually Pledge Our Lives, Our Fortunes, and Our Sacred Honor to Save Urban America.

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