The year’s first Comment of the Day came from “Tanisha Hayes” on January 2, 2013. She was writing about Angelo Alphonso Payne and said:
I still can’t believe this man my mind all over the place never in a million years would’ve thought in 2013 iI wouldnt have my bestfriend to spend it wit , then not juss that but my blood brother suspect for this , come on man smh I’m really messed up behind all this mannnnn , wat am I to do in this situation I’m going crazy iI love Youu khari , keep your head up &’ Anlo iI miss youu endlessly &’ Ii love Youu bestfriend
Seven months later, Khari Williams was indicted on charges of first-degree murder while armed, and two related weapons offenses in connection with Payne’s death. He is expected to stand trial in April 2014.
In February “Anonymous for good reason” mourned the death of teen Lucki Pannell, and that little progress appeared to have been made in her case. She wrote:
Oh, how my heart hurts today! 2 years, 3 suspects, no arrests. Why? I just really wish that people could solve their problems without violence. If they could, you’d still be here, and would have experienced everything a High School Senior should have. There’s such a whole in my heart when I think about you. My son hugged me so tight today when he left for school. He could tell I was so sad.
I remember when you found out I was pregnant with him. You said, ” Oh Lord, you been throwing up haven’t you?” I just laughed. You were so wise beyond your years. You said, ” I been doin this a long time. You know I got nieces and nephews.” I said, “yes, Lucki. I know. Any advice you can give me?” She said, “Don’t pay that father no mind. They ain’t no good. And don’t let that baby out of your sight!” I laughed so hard but you were so right. And I never forgot what you said. THANK YOU SO MUCH BABY GIRL, FOR EVERYTHING YOU BROUGHT TO MY LIFE. I HOPE YOUR KILLERS DO SOMETHING POSITIVE WITH THEIR LIVES WHILE THEY CAN BECAUSE ITS THE ONLY WAY TO HONOR YOUR MEMORY.
Less than three months later, with news of an arrest, she wrote:
How incredibly horrible! These kids went to elementary school together! I will never have any understanding. I watched them grow up, interacted with them daily and could never have predicted that they would cross paths in this way. I can’t for the life of me comprehend how you all are killing each other over a neighborhood beef? With your whole life ahead of you, you let crime take precedence over college, vacation, marriage and kids. Once you die or go to jail for the rest of your life, you lose the chance to make it better? Why can’t you all see that? This entire situation has me rethinking my career cause I can’t deal right now…
This summer the son of a suspect and the mother of a victim shared their experiences with us. Wrote “Joshae”:
Ramona gray is my mother Ramona gray is my pop pop I’m so sorry for my mothers behavior yes she was wrong but don’t call anyone what u think they r because u r no better and yes I’m only 12 my mother had foolish friends that made her do any thing if they told her to rob a bank she will do it wanna know why because they brain washed my mother with Satan the evil man my mother was sweet kind will to anything for u i remember that my dropped off a lady that had twins carring them in the rain she pulled over and tuck her home. My mother is a very nice person ms.grant was nice at some times.i believe that ms.grant will be dead unless she was with Steven Antonio McDonald , Santans child.or my loving mother Ramona gray would be suffering in jail for 25 years.
I Am Ms.SHEMESE ANN GRANT’S Mother Mrs.GinaKey-GrantSr.
I WAS MARRIED, I HAD THE PERFECT PAIR,MY SON EXACTLY 1yr OLDER THAN HIS SISTER,THEY WERE LIKE TWINS,RAMONA GRAY IS RIGHT WHERE SHE BELONGS,I AM HAVING A AWFULL TIME WITH LIFE,I CAN’T GET AROUND,PASS,THRU,OVER,THIS PREMEDITATED,HORRIFIC, TRAGETIE,THE JUSTICE SYSTEM LET ME DOWN,THE GIULT OF NOTBEING THERE IS AWFUL,SHE WAS BORN 1 BLOCK ON 18th&T.,ST.,S.E.I HAVE HAD T0 LEAVE WHERE I WAS BORN SO I COULD REFLECT,COLLECT MYSELF,REACH DEEP DOWN IN MY SOUL,I AM 53yrs OLD AN FORTUNATLY HAVE NOT BEEN INCARCERATED NEITHER HAS HER FATHER,AN THE ULTIMATE BOTTOM LINE IS OUR MAKERS JUDGEMENT,IN THE MEAN TIME WE ARE JUDGED BY OUR WORKS HERE,BUT TO PREMEDITATE MURDER IS HANNIOUS,IT IS NOT ENOUGH WE HAVE TO WORK EVERYTHING OUT,HORRIFIC SITUATIONS SHOULD BE CONTAINED,I MYSELF AM HAVING A AWFUL TIME,SHE STOLE MY BABYGIRL TINKERBELL,FOR HER BABIES FATHER,FOR NO ONE,I MEAN NO 0NE,MY HURT&PAIN WILL NOT ALLOW ME TO MURDER OR DESTROY ANYTHING MY FREEDOM IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME,I’LL BE TALKING TO EVERY 1 SOON,TO NOW ADD MY STORY T0 THE WRITING ON THE WALL,THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME SHARE,
HER 3 ANNIVERSARY IS 8/31/13
In comments, neighbors to victims and those near crimes shared their experiences, too. “mscrystalofdc” wrote about the shooting death of Robert Spencer.
I can’t stop crying!! I was sitting In my window Tuesday night I heard the shoot. I heard a young girl screaming. I ran around the corner and they tried to save him. Even as the ambulance rode pass they still were trying to save him. Another one of our youth cut down in the streets for nonsense. My heart is so weary from this experience..I can only imagine how his family feels. RIP I pray that all the young black men in Eagles Crossing realize that on any given day..That too can be there fate..Plz go to school and leave these streets alone!!PLEASe!!
In Southeast DC, neighbors organized a vigil, one of many held for homicide victims this year, in memory of Rodney Ellis Gardner.
The Resident’s of the 1600 block of 21st Place SE, will be holding a candle light vigil for Rodney in front of 1621 21st Place SE, Wednesday, June 12 at 8:00pm.
“Darryl Grayson,” writing about Omar Sykes, urged the community to find solutions to violence. He wrote:
The important thing is that we must all develop a comprehensive solution to this violence and crime in our neighborhoods. Whether a street is named in memory of Omar is not the issue. We must solve this ongoing crisis and epidemic throughout our communities nationwide. If the death of Omar Sykes generates the attention and rallying cry to take action to prevent other deaths, then we should support that effort. Let’s not get mad because everyone else who has been a murder victim is not identified as a rallying point to fix the problem. Support any effort to solve the problem even if someone like Omar Sykes becomes the focus.
Trayvon Martin became the focus of not just his own injustice, but justice for all those unnamed people who died unjustifiably by cops and wanna be cops. But one case became the rallying cry. Even though GZ was found not guilty, there would never have been an arrest without the protest.
So we should support the focus on Omar Sykes while we have the mayor’s attention and demand resources to combat violence in Omar Sykes name. Why not? Let’s rally behind honoring this young man and use his spirit to restore a greater value for human life among our people, improved economic development along the Georgia Avenue corridor and improved police presence and crime-fighting measures. Then expand our success throughout the city and to other cities across the nation
OMAR SYKES DEATH SHALL NOT BE IN VAIN.
And in October, “Reacha O’Neal” reminded us that there are no strangers. Writing about the shooting death of Antonio Jerome Williams, she said:
This is so sad. While I was celebrating my birthday a family is mourning a death. IDK him but the date of his death is my birthday. ITs sucks to see such young people die in such a harmful way. May God Rest upon your family. May your parents hearts mend and forgive those who took you away so soon. Rest in Peace
For more selected comments from 2013 and other years, see Comments of the Day.