Crime Hits Home

I didn’t know John Henderson.  From what I’ve read in the paper he sounds like a cool guy.  I’ve never been to The Standard, where he was senselessly murdered, just 3 miles from my house. His tragic death yesterday morning has stirred real action. Today I got to be a small part of that.

News of the vigil first appeared on Twitter yesterday afternoon. Last night I received an invite to the vigil on Facebook. By the time I sent my RSVP to go over 250 people confirmed they’d be there as well. I got there this morning just before 7 a.m. Already there were 4 news vans and 2 Atlanta-Journal Constitution cars. Later I heard NPR was there as well.

I didn’t know anyone there when I arrived. I looked around and saw lots of emotion, some tears and lots of hugs. The darkness that visited The Standard was still lingered, I could feel it. Seeing the plywood on the front door that was smashed was surreal. However as more and more people showed up a sense of hope and calm emerged. Some say as many as 400 people showed up to the vigil.

I feel a real sense that something positive is happening from this tragedy. This website, Atlantans Together Against Crime & Cutbacks, has been created and is organizing future events. Folks were giving their e-mail addresses to become involved. This Facebook group has been created and has already grown to 470 members at the time of this writing. A meeting has been organized on Sunday at Aurora Coffee in Little 5 Points.

For the 7 years I’ve lived in East Atlanta I’ve felt safe. I recall the murder of Christian Henderson five and a half years ago. The only other major crime I can recall in my time here was the kidnapping of 2 Atlanta men in July of 2007. I still feel safe in my neighborhood. There is a strong community and we look out for one another.

I pray that John Henderson’s murder was an isolated event. Seeing the vigil today and the subsequent action that is coming, I believe that we as citizens are doing what we can to make it so.

Please see Creative Loafing’s and The AJC’s coverage of this story.

1 Comment so far

  1. Writing for Atlanta MetBlogs at (pingback) on January 8th, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    […] here to read my first post. Unfortunately it’s about the recent tragedy at The Standard. Please […]

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