'Then we're gonna get a good lawyer'

Dateline: Tue 20 Jul 2010

From my perch, which is basically a seat on the rocker in the small Butler-Tarkington cottage where I live, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Mayor Greg Ballard and new safety director Frank Straub have done a dynamite job in their response to the shootings Saturday Downtown. Ten young people, ages 10 to 18, were wounded by gunfire after the Indiana Black Expo teen fling event.

As Straub said, we have in this city an excellent police department. And, as quoted in this morning's Indianapoois Star, "This is a safe city; this is a city where safety is job one."

As Straub predicted, they got their suspect, who is allegedly seen on video firing away. They vowed to bring him in in 48 hours; they did it in 24. Good work.

He is Shamus L. Patton, 17, and he is charged in two of three shooting incidents.

The Star this morning does not sugarcoat Patton's backstory; reporters Tania Lopez and Vic Ryckeart have my respect.

They write that Patton has "a long arrest record (and) is a member of a street gang known as the 34th Street Savage Boys." A former neighbor is quoted as saying that Patton was "a little gang-banger, a smart aleck," and apparently a high school drop out -- he atttended Renaissance School and Warren Central and was arrested at both (threatening a secretary at the first; having a handgun at home when he was picked up at Warren Central High).

I know this is all a deadly serious business, but I admit I laoughted out loud at what one of Patton's male relatives said to WISH-TV Channel 8 last night -- (best coverage of everything). When asked how the family was going to proceed, this man said,

"First of all, we're gonna pray to God. Then we're gonna talk to our ministers. Then we're gonna get a good lawyer."

Good strategy, there. A little late for the kid, but still, you might want to put that lawyer thing ahead of the ministers...




hendy [Member] said:

In his community, ministers are a great step towards understanding the situation. Lawyers make sense, but only after decisions like-- do you plead guilty?

I hope the entire community heals after this awful turn of events. It's brought out some really negative emotions from many quadrants. We need to be united by the tragedies, not divided by them. Children are the future; they learn from clear-headed objective adults.

2010-07-20 11:39:11

ruthholl [Member] said:

You are right, Hendy. I know I sound mean-spirited today. I suppose my hidden agenda is that I don't always trust the ministers; some of them simply want to stir the pot.
But if they act responsibly and truly represent people and they speak out with integrity, more power to 'em.

2010-07-20 12:00:31

hendy [Member] said:

And the ministers are only people. My hope is for their wisdom. Parents can try to do their best, but sometimes that's limited for many reasons. It's no reason to bring kids into the world, and not be responsible for their upbringing, but life can be really tough. Add in youthful desires to be cool and to belong to something, and sometimes that something can be truly awful, with hideous values.

Big Brothers and Girls, Inc., IYS and other youth-focused peering/mentoring groups can make a big difference. Armchair critics will point to tired epithets, instead of getting off their butts and actually doing something than give lip service to a divisive issue.

2010-07-20 14:13:49

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Here's all you need to know about this delinquent:

His mom was on TV last night, proclaiming her son's innocence, their poverty and racism. Through eight gold-lated front teeth. And she loudly objected to any claims that her son was in a gang.

Stereotypes are often ugly. And I always want a mamma to stand by her children. This kid has a long record, and he was in/out of our legal system too often by the age of 15.

I want to know one thing (besides the recovery of his victims): where did he get the gun?

But this kid's police record, and his parenting to-date, speak volumes.

Hendy, it's one thing to seek the counsel of wise clergy. I'll always pray for that, in all areas of our county.

But there are rotten apples among that clergy crew, too...who obviously don't practice what they preach. Extortion is their most-practiced religion.

Luckily, there are many in the black clergy who out-number the bad. There are Charles Harrisons galore, thank God.

May their number multiply.

2010-07-21 05:16:05

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