28 December 2005

What Happens in NE Stays in NE

I attempted to post a comment yesterday on DCist, but, for the second time in as many weeks, whatever I wrote was sucked out into the ether of the interwebs. And so we start over here....

Since moving to NE in June, I've noticed many events, well, going unnoticed for the most part. Homicide? Maybe a little bit of play on the evening news. Flipped over cars (three that I know of in my 'hood since August)? Zippity-do-da. Trees crashing into people's houses, transformers blowing left and right like it was the War of the Worlds? Okay, that was on the news - remember that crazy summer storm in Silver Spring? It was here, in Woodridge/Brookland, too. The neighbor's tree was on my shed for a month since I don't happen to keep a chainsaw handy.

What started me on this tangent in the first place was the "Briefly Noted: Media storm over Christmas Day shootings in Fairfax" (bottom of the post). I don't deny that this shooting spree is a terrible tragedy, but I cannot let it overshadow two homicides that occured over the weekend in Ward 5 (thank you, inked, for the very handy link). The first occured on the 24th; Frank Kamara, owner of East Coast Auto, was shot and killed in what police believe was a botched attempted robbery. Kamara was 38 and married with three daughters. The second murder happened just two blocks from my house. Latisha Ethridge was 24; she and the suspect, William Gales, had a child together. This case should be in everyone's face, if only because of the underlying theme of domestic violence. But I digress....

Sure, I was able to find news links for the murders - hell, Kamara even made it to the front of The Washington Post's Metro section on the 26th. But the Fairfax murders have been on the front page for the past three days. Can someone please tell me what is going on here before I cannonball into the valley of conclusions?

UPDATE: The power went out for a few minutes, serving, I believe, as some sort of sign for me to cannonball into bed. Let me stop for now with this: May all the victims rest in peace, and may all the families and friends find solace in the coming year. Let's not be so numbed by the complexity/violence/senselessness of events around us that we forget all of these lives are more than simply statistics. And we can't fight the statistics by pretending nothing is happening.


  1. Jaime -
    I live in Rockville. The homicide you are talking about, Frank Kamara is absolutely devestating. His father is the concierge in my apartment building. If Frank was half as kind as his father - (and i hear he was an amazing person) the loss for the family and the community is irreplaceable. I wish I could write to the Police and urge them to pursue each case as if it was special and unique and needed to be solved ASAP. It really infuriates me that "an african american man is shot in NE" and it gets no attention. What can we do ? Seriously, I want to see action on this investigation.
    Thanks for writing about something so important -

  2. Frank was an awesome dude, while I have not seen him in about 12 years I am deeply saddened by his loss. The senseless violence that occurs needs to be curbed, by men like Frank and others willing to be fathers, employers and mentors.There was a time Frank may have chosen to go in the wrong direction, but his family freinds and colleuges helped him move in the right direction, somthing he freely did for others. Here to you Frank, at least you will have sky box seats for the super bowl. I miss you Frank, blessings to your your family

  3. Here's what your post made me think: The mainstream media is flawed, sometimes as a result of arrogance, sometimes as a result of best intentions undermined by too-few resources, and ultimately because no one news source or institution can be a mirror of our world (particularly considering your world isn't the same as mine). That's why it's so important that people like you, who care about your world and the people in it, take the time to tell these stories - to hold up your part of the big cracked mirror of human existence. So - thanks, and when you're sad or pissed off by the short-comings of "the press" that so many people treat as gospel - remember that you have this space to tell us what we're missing.

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  5. I didn't know Mr. Kamara, but I can say that Trinidad can use all the role models it can get (and it certainly sounds like he was one of those). Since I was previously unfamilar with him, I can't say much about the kind of legacy he may have left on the community, but it definitely seems like his actions must have left a lasting mark on some of the local youth. His death is just one more tragic example of the really twisted way that random (I'll call it that even if the crime may have been targeting his dealership) crime can rob a community of its most valuable assests.


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