The homicides of May 2013 were filled with tragedies, senseless violence, and a loud call to end the “no snitching” code of silence and the need for changes in our communities. Out of the 38 homicides, 29 were Black and 24 were Black men, which is the same as this time last year. In May 2012, 29 of the 37 homicides were Black.
While the numbers may have stayed steady, the community’s outrage over tragedies grew. Tragedies, such as the shooting death of 1-year-old “Baby Marcus,” who was killed when three men decided to shoot into a crowd at an afternoon picnic he was attending in East Hills with his aunts. And while numerous individuals witnessed this horrific event, “Baby Marcus” has still seen no justice and his killers continue to roam the streets, endangering the lives of others, because no one will take a stand and speak up.
And there is jitney driver John Haas, an innocent man who was fatally shot when his vehicle was riddled with bullets, while he picked up a customer at a McKeesport housing complex; and all because his vehicle looked like the vehicle of a rival gang member.
And then there’s 16-year-old Delasia Detrieuille who was shot to death by another 16-year-old, after she confronted the individuals who stole a gun from her earlier, that she was trying to sell. Not only is it disheartening that now these two 16-year-olds’ lives are over, and their families are dealing with losses, but also the fact that a 16-year-old had a gun.
It’s time to get real about taking our streets back from these people who think they can overrun them with drugs, guns and violence. We, as members of the community, can no longer just sit back and continue to let this happen. We have to get rid of the “it didn’t happen to me, so I’m not gonna get involved” mentality. We are all affected, if it happens to one in our communities, it happens to us all. If you see something, you need to report it, whether it’s anonymously or out in the open. It’s not snitching, if you are not involved in the wrong doings.
And yes, we cannot do it alone, like it has been stated before, we need a stronger police presence and legislation to support us, but we cannot ask someone to stand with us, if we are not willing to stand ourselves.
As part of an ongoing effort to heighten awareness about the affects of murder in Black communities, the New Pittsburgh Courier will compile a list of homicides in the County each month. It is our hope that as the list of victims grows, so will a true understanding of how these lost lives affect the mental health, economic well-being and self-images of the region’s Black neighborhoods.
Out of the 38 murders, thus far in 2013—29 were Black and 24 were Black men.