As he had routinely done for months, Delon Williams hopped out of the probation van he rides on weekends just about 20 steps from the door of his mother’s Garfield home.
But on Sept. 12, the 17-year-old only made it about three steps before he was cut down in a hail of fatal gunfire.
“The van driver was half way down the block. He drove off instead of waiting for my son to get inside like he’s supposed to,” said Malika Williams.
“I think that the system has an obligation to these kids to make it safe.” — LINDA KELLY, Allegheny County Court Administrator
“He wears a (bulletproof) vest, carries a gun—but if he doesn’t escort or shoot back, why have it? That driver, the last person who saw Delon alive, never came by, never apologized.”
In an effort to make sure what happened to her son doesn’t happen to other children adjudicated to the Allegheny County’s Community Intensive Supervision Program, or CISP, Malika Williams is scheduled to meet with county court administrator Linda Kelly and other officials Oct. 12 to discuss changes she and other parents want to see made. She has collected more than 50 signatures on the petitions she circulated calling for changes in how the program is run. She will present this petition at that meeting.
“I’ve spoken with several mothers who say they are having problems,” she said. “We sign a waiver that says the child will go directly from van to the door and from the door to the van. In the past vans have been shot up. The program has ongoing problems.”