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Monday, April 28, 2008

Jeremiah's Right

I was going to post about justice.

If you read my last post you know I planned on exposing some of the common practices of a deadly efficient criminal justice system, a growing system that relies on black and brown men. A system that does not give the benefit of the doubt to anyone caught in its web.

Anyone poor or black.

After watching and listening to the Rev Jeremiah Wright in front of the press club I had to stop and take's not just the justice system.

It is a multi pronged pitchfork that is sharpened by the media, prosecutors and well intentioned supporters of the aforementioned.

You and me.

The peanut gallery sitting on the sidelines in blind support.

After all, they are the experts. And we trust the experts right?

We often minimize or ignore the suffering of Americans who have never enjoyed all the benefits of citizenship. We use specific statistical data to clarify our differences, point out discrepencies and to form opinions; we come to conclusions about ourselves and each other.

We come to expect a type of behavior based on statistics, encompassing a multitude of variables most of us do not even know exist to determine the next logical course of action.

Example: Black family moves next door...logical course of action?

I hope you thought bake a cake and invite them over for dinner.


The press club invited Rev Wright with one purpose...wreck Barack Obama.

He had the opportunity to fully answer the press club's anonymous queries. Most of them written with divisive language and with manipulative aplomb. I assume they were 'consensus questions' pored over and agreed upon by the journalists in the room.

"Rev Wright how do you feel about the division between the Black and white church"?

without assuming there is even a division Wright eloquently referenced the underground railroad and the role white christians played in bringing many slaves to freedom, He shared the historical role white christians played in formally educating black people when it was considered treasonous.

In fact withouth the rabid support of white christians abolition would have never happened; slavery was good for business in the north and south.

Fisk, Spellman, Morehouse and Howard.According to Wright, white christians made that happen. There is no division, no ongoing dispute. Chances are, I will not catch a beatdown in a white church.

A White Christian Church.

I could easily play to the cheap seats and drop some 'oneness under God' stuff. But we all know how quickly Christian sensibilities can be lost in the face of pride, greed, fear or lust; in the face of being human, in the face of reality.

The reality?

Division is what makes our elite class of monarchs so strong. Even the appearance of division works we do not have to actively be in conflict for the perception to take hold.

The assumption of division, so cleverly inserted into the rev Wright question, reminded of my days as a boiler room salesman.


Contrary to popular opinion there are many examples of racial harmony. The assumption that we are divided is false. In many cases a good relationship is ruined by the media rhetoric. A well meaning white person who is worried about these issues starts asking their black colleagues, friends, strangers...the awkwardness takes hold.

"I didn't know you felt that way"

Division accomplished.

How does a father and son get to be President in the same twenty years?

I understand how monarchy works, I thought we were...
(I am not writing a book today)

A great example of the media's role would be the common practice of sensationalizing black crime. Last year a kid here, in Utica N.Y., recorded a sex act on his cell phone at school.

This made the evening news.

I know the kid. A typical overgrown, softspoken and apparently oversexed teenager. The young woman involved shared their enthusiasm( I know I am straddling some sort of line here ). In other words there was nothing forced or any type of sexual abuse, it simply made the digital rounds until a teacher caught wind of it.

Before I go any further I want to remind the readers over 35 if we had the same technology in our highschool days we would have a lot less people enjoying the fruits of their own 'wonder years'. They would be in mom's basement licking er' soothing ancient wounds.

So this kid gets plastered all over the paper, evening news and he is essentially a wreck. To him... his life is over. He is an accident nearing completion.

It is sad.

The girl? She enjoys legendary status among the techno-savvy thug crowd.

I will not condone his behavior or even offer an explanation. But I will tell you a white girl got caught sucking dick( yes the suckee was white too) in class and it did not even make the police blotter.

Just 'kids being kids' but the black one will have a felony and no diploma the others will quietly continue their rough journey through highschool on to college and into porn.

I do not know why I chose that example I can think of a few more that are way more appropriate. But I forgot I'm goin to Jonestown. Filth factor sells

Heres another one. 18 yr old Darnell Howard recieved six years for spitting on and hitting a cop in Sept 07'. Earlier that same year in March eight Police officers were sent to the hospital; the proud recipients of a St Patrick's day beatdown. There was a concussion and some broken bones...everyone single one of the perpetrators was aquitted. Not one went to the hospital or jail.

"Hey the guys were a little drunk ...things got outta hand... they're good guys"

I'm not mad at em' I'm a bit envious. I'm sure if any local cops read this they will be pissed at my beatdown envy but they need to remember.

I didn't do it.

Save your anger for the 'good guys' that administered the beatdown.

Yeah right.

It gets better but I have to hold onto some of this I can't show all my can I?

The thing that gets to me is the biased one sided coverage this stuff gets. The favorable and almost apologetic language when the people involved are white. I hear a lot of stuff like 'unforeseen tragedy', 'they have a lot going for them',' a bright future' 'respect for their privacy' and 'time to heal'. When they are black I hear 'sentencing date', and 'alleged alibi' and 'supposed defense strategy'.

I have seen an unprecedented( at least i never heard of three mistrials or even two) three mistrials attempts until the guy was finally convicted on hearsay!!!

The third time was the charm,
All the witnesses were totally unreliable and I honestly do not know what I would have done as a prosecutor on that one. It was tough because the guy was up to no good and the prosecution had a very weak case. The D.A. got lucky to get a conviction without that case making some sort of legal journal for bad case management with desired results.
The hapless black defense attorney did not know what hit him. All he could say was we have heard this testimony three times from this same person and now we are accepting the third version of 'truth' she has so graciously shared. If his client had money or he has a crisis of concience he could win in a higher court... easily. But I am sure he left Utica with a little less pride in our system and his place in it.

That is why they make the big bucks.

But does it always have to be at our, black peoples, expense. When will the scales of justice weigh everyone's conscience.

Everyone uses them at pretty much equal rates but only brown and black people got to jail.

If drugs were ever decriminalized they would not have a reason to lock us up unless it was illegal to be black...believe it or not it used to be.

Back to Darnell Howard. He gets six years.

Around the time of his sentencing in early APRIL three suburban kids were awaiting sentencing for beating another kid to death with an eightball(not coke you addicts). So far one white kid got time served 2/3rd of a year, they claimed it was accidental. There we go with the benefit of the doubt thingy.

My new name for it is the 'white' race card.

Now available in black, yellow and brown...

act now you can only use it once.


Anonymous said...

Why not give the racial bull a rest. Be glad that you are in this country. What if your ancestors were not taken slave and you and yours was still in Africa. The quality of life here is much better than there. I just don't understand what the constant griping is about. Take advantage of being in this country and the benefits it offers to every man.

David B. Dancy said...

Anonymous said- Why not give the racial bull a rest.

Is that a question? Why didn't you use a question mark? Oh Yeah- No Child Left Behind.

Anonymouis said- Be glad that you are in this country.

Why? Have you lived sopmwhere else. From what I know the world is a big place with many wonderful qualities. They do not all exist here in America.

Anonymous wrote- What if your ancestors were not taken slave and you and yours was still in Africa.

Once again you fail to use a question mark. If me and mine were still in africa we would not be having this conversation . that is a ridiculopus statement. it actually gives away your age. An immature old woman.

Anonymous wrote-The quality of life here is much better than there.

You have never been there how would you know. i'm sure you can reference statistics created by big drug companies por you can go there yourself. I am American. your ancestore most likely came here fleeing persecution. Why don't you go quit complaining about my right to free speech. or does it bother you i am telling the truth about some ugly facts . Facts that make you uncomfortable.

as long as ther is inequity therte will be griping it is my right as an American.

Got a problem?

I bet you do.
now submit your questions correctly or I will moderate you out of this conversation
get it?
Do you understand?

Can you see me taking advantage?

David B. Dancy said...

I have had an attitude adjustment. I am more resolved than ever. I will change my corner of the world gotta problem wit it?

Ghost Dansing said...

i see what upset you in the post after this one...... "racial bull" indeed...... racism was so embedded in the economics of Colonial America that the authors of the Constitution could not resolve the slavery issue within the Constitution itself...... this failure to resolve the slavery issue became a core political issue within the context of the Confederate secession and subsequent Civil War.

Jim Crow, Civil Rights movement....... all "racial bull" i suppose.
southern trees

Aymswill said...

"Anonymous" *shakes head, Dave handled that one pretty well. Very good approach there "mentor", took care of that right away. LOL @advantage, that's right I can [delete] your comment. *shakes head, welp....onto the blog

Dave- Good Ol' Utica, yeah I heard/read all the different situations, and you missed MANY of the situations that occur in the big UT. Bias & discrimination, of course there is. It just gets more frustrating when the blind eye is the one looking at the situations aka the "white" race card as you've named it. I don't Dave, it's very hard to even address, because then you're left with where do you go.

But aye, the use of the worldwide web to rant...go at it Dave.

David B. Dancy said...

Thanks aysh...I gotta rant somewhere the Mayor reads my blog.

no_slappz said...


There's a whole universe of thoughts swirling around in your head. A lot of those thoughts focus on what you believe whites are thinking and doing in relation to blacks.

But some of your claims are off the deep end.

Starting with...

"If you read my last post you know I planned on exposing some of the common practices of a deadly efficient criminal justice system, a growing system that relies on black and brown men."

Based on the preceding sentence, are you saying that people are arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to jail BECAUSE they are black or brown?

Have you ever been on a jury?

Anyway, your comments are totally insupportable. The simple facts about who commits violent crime are perhaps painful, but they are no secret.

In New York City 90% of the violent crims is committed by black and hispanic perpetrators. But blacks and hispanics account for 50% of the population. Thus, as you can see, blacks and hispanics will subsequently account for more arrestees, be defendants in more prosecutions and face more jail time than whites and asians.

You further claim the justice system victimizes those who are "poor and black."

Poverty may motivate some people to steal. Not surprisingly, penalties for theft are low. But murder and other violent attacks are another matter. Poverty does not rationalize murder or violence.

Maybe you want to change some laws that seem to penalize blacks and hispanics more than whites. Those laws are drug laws.

It's okay with me if the US decriminalizes ALL drugs. Drug abuse problems are medical issues in my view. Not criminal issues.

But if this change occurs, some unpleasant consequences will follow. Drug dealers will have the freedom to entice young people into using their products. Crystal meth use will spread. But I think the country can handle the problems. However, some parents will lose their kids along the way, not that that hasn't happened already.

You have some bizarre notions of white behavior when blacks are involved. Like your belief in the concept of white flight.

There's no question whites flew out of most cities when racial demographics changed. But one of the biggest drivers was school busing. Not the color of the neighbors.

It is an incontestable fact that blacks and hispanics are lag in school. White parents are not fools. If there's one aspect of the lives of their children they care about, it's education -- and what it takes to maintain a healthy environment for learning.

The Department of Education in New York City is a big obstacle. But the biggest problems lie with the students themselves. I say this with classroom teaching experience.

From Day One, most black and hispanic kids arrive at school behind most white and asian kids. There's nothing mysterious it. Home life for black and hispanic kids is unquestionably more troubled than it is for whites and asians.

Probably the most significant factor is fatherlessness. Then there is the general low standing of education in the household. The list of factors has been repeated ad nauseum. But industrial-strength denial has kept a lot of people from getting the message.

I see that you take the standard black position of claiming the problems of the black community are caused by forces and influences from outside the community. Most often the exuse-making claims that slavery is the distant and historical force behind the latest murder committed by a black.

Anyway, whites have wisely taken their kids away from the mayhem of public schools serving rising percentages of black and hispanic students.

My neighborhood in the southwest corner of Flatbush Brooklyn is racially, ethnically and religiously mixed. Houses are not cheap. You can read about the neighborhood if you care to. In broad terms it's called Victorian Flatbush because most of the houses are 100-year-old Victorians.

There was a murder on my street about three years ago. A drug dealer had a little problem with a customer who stabbed him in the neck rather than pay him. The dealer died on the sidewalk about 100 yards from my house. The killer felt such remorse that a couple of days later he committed a public-service suicide, letting the police close the books on this case with minimal effort. Both were hispanic.

At virtually the same spot on the street a neighbor was viciously mugged. The muggers didn't know they were on camera, however, when they committed their assault during the late afternoon on a sunny day. The two muggers were black. Their victim was a 55-year-old white guy they knocked out with a vicious shot to the head.

That's how it is. Digital cameras are everywhere these days. Amazingly, the cameras don't deter criminals. Every day their pictures are in the paper with the crime reports. By race the photos stick to the 90/10 ratio I cited earlier. Nine out of ten photos are black or hispanic perpetrators. It seems like every bank in NYC has collection of photos of black bank robbers displayed in a prominent place.

Are you in denial about who commits crime most actively?

You also make statements that show your low level of respect for blacks. You said the National Press Club invited Rev Wright to speak for the purpose of destroying Barack Obama.

Of course this is utterly ridiculous. But if you think the purpose of inviting Wright was to hurt Obama's campaign, then why did Wright accept the offer to speak? You must think he's stupid for not seeing what was obvious to you.

Frankly, I do think he's a gasbag egomaniac who has bamboozled a lot of people for a long time.

I hope you know he grew up in middle-class comfort and attended a largely white high school that was only open to people who passed an entrance exam. In other words, Wright grew up enjoying a substantial amount of priviledge and exclusivity. He has no personal experience with many of the issues he rants about.

Then you get into some comical territory about whites suddenly surprised to learn what's on the minds of blacks by reading the newspaper or watching TV.

I suppose some people are clueless. But it's clear to most whites that blacks have a set of beliefs that form an alternate reality. Anyone who has attended a black rally or demonstration sees it. Whether it's Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton speaking.

It's obvious to anyone who has heard Rev Wright that Louis Farrakhan is an accepted member of black leadership.

I'm sure you like many of Farrakhan's ideas, those basic Nation of Islam ideas that define the NOI.

Meanwhile, the media venue that works night and day to divide the races is the black media. Much of what is said on black talk radio is appalling. The black press puts most of its effort into vilifying whites.

The is one. It is a venue filled with anti-white vitriol and little else. Of course the vile stuff it carries has an audience among blacks. Unfortunately, there is little fact behind the angry rants that are published every week. The will publish just about anyone's assault on whites as long as it's angry enough. Truth and journalistic integrity have no meaning with the editors.

As for your strange claims about prosecutions, here's one to add to your list. There was a shooting in Texas. A black man came home and found his black wife having sex with another black man in the front seat of his pick-up truck which was parked in front of the couple's home.

When the wife saw her husband, she cried "rape." The husband happened to have his 10 mm handgun with him. The husband shot the other man to death and then he and his wife called 911. The 911 tape caught everything they said, which included statements from both of them saying that the other man was her boyfriend and not a rapist and they both knew the "rape" claim was phony.

Here's what happened. Prosecutors determined the wife was lying when she cried "rape". Thus they prosecuted her for manslaughter for causing the death of the deceased and she was sentenced to prison.

BUT, the husband was not indicted even though he knew he was shooting a rival, not a rapist. He walked. Free as a bird, minus one cheating wife. What a country!

David B. Dancy said...

Thanks for the post slappz.
Someone just might read it.
The at is there arre a disproportianate amount of black ad rown jail people in jail for oine reason. Jails were bult for them. The drug laws account for the majority of incarcerations, not violence associated with ar as drug dealers enticing young people... lets see Philip Morris R.J. Reynolds, Who makes Ritalin? We do not have to worry about any additional negative influences that do not already exist. What it comes down to is opportunity and responsibility. I do not let any rhetoric get in the way o what is right in front of my face. hold uo barry's here but i aint done

David B. Dancy said...

I forgot to ask No Slappz Are you prejudiced, because i am not. You make these sweeping general statement like "White parents are not fools".
Half your problem is you attribute your qualities to youyr entire race.
you are an individual and i am sure there are plnety of white people that would fuck you just as bad as any black oe.
you seem to lack the ability to look beyoind race and statistics.You use the very biased data(arrests records) to support your claims. I am writing a biased justice sytstem and use the biased results. it is hilarious and i love to read you asinine thoughts.
Now are you prejudiced towards black ad hispanic people?
Will you admit that much. I blog on my blog I tool around all the racist sites challenging them to debate.
it is stupid ad time consumg. itis my hope however that a raist such as yourself ca come to Dancyscorner and see a slice of (black) humanity fo what it is.
you will have an epiphany.
You are too smart not too.

no_slappz said...

dbd, if you want to examine the stupid behaviors of whites, we can do that. There's plenty of material.

There are some whites who are defined by their racism. Since the US was once a slave nation, the country came into existence with a perspective it has spent the last 140 years shaking off.

We are now six or seven generations past slavery. We are about two generations past the end of Jim Crow laws and we now live in a country where every door is open to blacks, hispanics, asians, and every ethnic and religious group in the US today.

Every professional venue is open to blacks, hispanics, asian, etc.

But despite the wide open doors to every possible future, blacks and hispanics have clustered in a few areas while steering clear of others.

Based on your comments and your determination to steer the analysis of everything to the fact that slavery was once legal in the US, it's a sure bet that you think almost zero blacks earn PhDs in math and science because they carry some permanent mental scar from slavery that was passed to them in their DNA.

It's unfortunate that you seem to look at the US through slave-tinted glasses.

When I make broad statements like "White parents are not fools" you respond by telling ME I have a problem and that my problem is attributing "my qualities to my entire race."

But White Flight is very real. Getting away from urban headaches was a powerful force behind the development and expansion of the suburbs -- a post WWII phenomenon.

I was born in New York City. But my family moved to the suburbs. I grew up in two areas -- outside New York City and outside Chicago. The three towns I lived in became home to many people leaving those two cities to escape the changing racial and ethnic demographics. Hence, I am not attributing "my qualities" to anyone. I'm merely stating facts.

Just like there was a black migration from the South to northern cities, there was a migration of whites out of cities and into newly formed and growing suburbs.

Meanwhile, you make totally bizarre connections between fact and fantasy. Jails, for example, were built for criminals. About 50% of all murders are committed by whites. Not surprisingly, about 50% of prisoners serving terms for murder are white.

But blacks, who make up 12% of the population commit murder at 7 to 10 times the rate of whites.

On the other end are asians. They commit murder at a very low rate.

What do you think of the difference in murder rates between races?

As for drugs and jail, well, by claiming that violating drug laws accounts for the bulk of incarcerations, you are right. But prosecutors like to win cases. Thus, they indict people they can convict. Some people are actually deterred by the fact that getting caught with drugs might earn them jail time.

Others seem not to care, and are caught repeatedly and are sent to jail. If you think blacks are unfairly penalized through drug convictions, you might want to start a movement to convince blacks to stop using drugs.

That would work.

Or you might want to start a movement among blacks to decriminalize drugs.

Here's the problem. Neither idea has any support in the black community. Every black politician who wants to be elected or re-elected refuses to support decriminalization.

Of course all leaders tell people to stay away from drugs. But a lot of people refuse to listen.

What route do you want to follow? I'm all for decriminalizing drugs. But I guarantee that if we were to follow that path, many black leaders would claim the idea is another white plot to destroy blacks by spreading more drugs in the black community.

So which direction do you want to go?

Meanwhile, as I said, prosecutors like to win cases. Hence when it is possible to charge criminals with several violations, they go for as many as possible and take whatever convictions result. Thus, if violence breaks out over drug deals, the prosecutor charge a defendant with several crimes and convict him on only a relatively minor drug charge. But the conviction on a drug charge alone may mean the defendant was acquitted of other more serious charges.

The funny/sad part of your attitude is that you seem to think committing crimes is okay and that it is an oppressive government that presents the biggest obstacle to life.

Getting back to me. After living, going to school and working in several regions, I returned to my roots in NY City where my kids go to public school. But they are good students, which means they were accepted into accelerated programs. They attend public schools where they are in classes pretty much free of disruptive students.

We live in a section of Flatbush Brooklyn that is, I am certain, more diverse than any other place in the US. I say that as a person who has been to small towns and cities all over the country.

But there is no doubt about a few things. One is this: black and hispanic students do far less well in school than white and asian kids. You have to face this fact. But I think you practice some pointless form of denial.

The best public schools in NY City are open to those who pass entrance tests. Blacks and hispanics account for 70% of the students in the NY City public school system. But at the top schools they account for less than 10% of the students.

The reason for the imbalance is the same as the reason for the imbalance in the NBA. Most of the players are black because they are better players than whites. I can assure you that no whites are claiming the NBA is a racist organization that excludes players on the basis of skin color or racial bias.

Your question about prejudice is fascinating. You ask "are you prejudiced?"

I think you lack an understanding of what the expression means. First, you assume that "prejudice" means a bias based on race. Of course that's true, but it seems that's the only application you have for "prejudice."

Second, you think you are not "prejudiced", and I will add, prejudiced against whites. But your fixation of white history betrays you.

You seem ot believe that everyone is defined by his racial history. Blacks are always oppressed because 150 years ago blacks in the US were slaves. Of course millions of blacks have come to the US in recent decades with no slave history in their families.

On the other hand, you seem to think today's whites are largely would-be plantation owners who dream of lynching blacks because there once were plantation owners with slaves and because lynchings once occurred.

But you seem oblivious to the fact that murder within the black community has taken many many times more lives than lynching ever did. Black victims murdered by black murderers were not any guiltier of crimes against the state than victims of lynchings. Yet you can't see beyond a specific set of murders that were committed over a century ago.

The murder toll in NY City was 2240 in 1991. Probably 2,000 victims were black or hispanic. Maybe more. Thus, in a handful of years, more blacks were killed by other blacks in New York City than were lynched by whites over the decades in which lynching occurred.

Thus, the problem inflicted by the outside force was stopped. But the internal problem of murder expanded and claimed far far more victims.

Does this mean anything to you?

no_slappz said...

Murder Spike Poses Quandary

Criminologists Offer Varied Explanations For April's Increase in Some Cities

May 6, 2008; Page A16

WASHINGTON -- Edward Bedenbaugh III was about to start a job as a youth-violence counselor working in inner-city schools, mediating disputes before they escalated into lethal exchanges.

He was celebrating his appointment at a nightspot in an upscale part of the nation's capital when he was shot in the back five times. The 29-year-old man died the next morning, April 17, two days before his oldest daughter's 10th birthday.

He was one of 14 people, all African-Americans, to die in a 13-day spasm of violence. That surge was enough to help make this April, with 18 murders, 20% deadlier than April 2007.

The grim run hasn't been limited to Washington. Several cities around the country, including Chicago and Philadelphia, endured similar mini murder waves during the same period, leading criminologists to worry whether this signifies the beginning of a trend -- or evidence of an unnoticed one.

What is most troubling to people who study crime is that there is no simple explanation for this rise. There are the usual reasons -- the economy, poverty, gangs and crews, and the availability of firearms, but there is one that has been little explored: the migration of the prison culture back to the streets. As nearly 700,000 convicts a year return home, some may be bringing prison culture with them.

"This is part of the price we're paying for 20 years of mass incarceration," said David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at New York City's John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

While he acknowledges that the economy and demographics might have a role in some cases, they don't explain the current spate of crime, which he calls "God-awful serious."

He said the violence also turns on a central currency within prisons: respect. Disrespect can lead to lethal responses at the slightest provocation.

In one recent case, police suspect that a victim simply strayed into the wrong neighborhood, which can be seen as disrespectful. Mr. Kennedy said there are now many people on the streets who live by a prison code, as the prison population has ballooned to 2.2 million from 330,000 in 1980.

The cycle of violent retribution can be seen at the funerals of the younger victims, where, in some cases, the families of the slain beseech the attendees to refrain from revenge.

The result is that while the overall murder rate has dropped for years, it has been inching up in the black community in recent years. African-Americans make up only 13% of the nation's population, but more are killed in the U.S. than any other racial group, accounting for 49% of all murder victims, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics.

A county medical examiner who has analyzed all the available data on his murder victims thinks that education -- or the lack of it -- is a vital component. O'dell Owens, the Hamilton County medical examiner in Cincinnati, studied the death certificates of his victims and found that over a five-year period, 60% of them had quit school.

"The homicides occur in neighborhoods where folks don't finish high school," Mr. Owens said. "If you can't make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn, you're done."

Jack Levin, head of Northeastern University's Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict, believes the troubled economy indirectly affects crime levels. In tough economic times, "one of the first things to go are policies and programs for fighting crimes," he said. Combine that with rising desperation and frustration, especially in the less affluent areas of society, and violence is the outcome.

Police also blame a rise in gang violence, as well as domestic incidents.

But some, like James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, said the surge is also the result of changing age demographics, particularly the 18-to-25-year-old group. "That is the adult age group most prone to violence," and it's growing, he said. But "it remains to be seen if the uptick will continue."

Mr. Bedenbaugh was going to be one of the counselors who tried to slow the violence. The father of two had been a basketball coach and youth volunteer at LifeStarts Youth and Community Services while also working with his father in a landscaping business.

His boss at LifeStarts, Curtis Watkins, said Mr. Bedenbaugh was known for his ability to reach even the hard-core teenagers in the neighborhood. "You have to have people who can relate to these kids, who can give them a vision beyond their neighborhood and the 'hood," said Mr. Watkins, whose own son's 2006 murder has never been solved. "Ed could do that. He had that magic."

What sparked the argument is unclear. According to court papers, Mr. Bedenbaugh tried to defuse the situation by refusing to go outside with the would-be gunman to continue the argument.

The gunman had hidden in an alley nearby and had to wait for an hour, pacing back and forth, according to witnesses. When Mr. Bedenbaugh finally came out, he shot him in the back.

An arrest has been made, but that is of little consolation for the family, said his sister, Latia Davis, 27. She works a half-block from where her brother was fatally wounded, and her daughter was born this year in the hospital where he died. "He wasn't some guy out there selling drugs or on the streets," she says. "This guy doesn't know what he took." The evidence, she said, is in the hundreds of people who came to pay their respects at his services.

Mr. Bedenbaugh was killed in an area better known for lawyers and lobbyists. Albert Herring, the executive assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, says the location holds a lesson for those who think that violent crime is confined to certain neighborhoods. "The problem that affects everybody, whether they appreciate it or not, is this: Crime migrates," he said.

Isiah said...

That's crazy, I wrote my first blog and it has the same title as yours!