A Public Reaction
This morning, some of our city’s citizens killed another one of us. They fired hot bullets through his bones and cold fear into the surrounding community. One is dead, many are hurt. Every bullet ricochets.
Throughout the day, links to news stories covering the crime have been passed from house to house, neighbor to neighbor. A lot of people are angry and a lot of people are afraid. Every bullet ricochets.
The victim was shot at his job while the APD continues to see pay cuts. It feels like everything lately is about work and money — these are big targets, and whenever a bullet is fired there’s a good chance it’ll hit one of these. Would these robbers be robbers if things were different, if jobs were secure, if the economy was healthy? Would these robbers be killers? Would John Henderson be alive if there were more police, if there was more money, if budgets weren’t cut? Every bullet ricochets.
As mentioned in the comments on James’ recent post, citizens from neighborhoods around the crime scene — The Standard Food & Spirits, on Memorial across from Oakland Cemetery — planned a public protest of recent budget cuts “in police protection and public safety.”
Here’s a press release circulated earlier today:
Southeast Atlanta Residents to Protest Rising Crime Rates at Site of
Robbery and Murder
Atlanta, GA, January 8, 2009 Due to the January 7 shooting at Grant
Park bar, Standard Food and Spirits, residents of Southeast Atlanta
have united to protest cuts in police protection and public safety.
January 8, 2009, concerned citizens should meet at 7 a.m. at the
Standard to remember the victims of crimes city-wide and to voice
concerns. Participants are encouraged to bring candles to light as
well as large signs and placards to help convey their message.
Word is there’ll be television news coverage of the event, making this a chance for local citizens to be heard on the larger issues.
At the request of The Standard’s operators, however, please note that this is not a protest — it’s a vigil. Bring candles. Bring something to say. But do not bring your protest signs and do not bring your chants.
Every bullet ricochets, but let’s turn our thoughts to those who have bled.