The Other Trayvon Martins

One of the memes surrounding the killing of Trayvon Martin has been that people like Rev. Al Sharpton, in fact black people in general, are not protesting the source of most killings of young black men — other black men.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, writing for The Atlantic, completely demolishes this meme, pointing to easily googlable protests against gun violence held in black neighborhoods in Chicago, Newark, New York, Gary, Pittsburgh and Saginaw. And ones participated in by Sharpton.

He points to a protest held in Brooklyn only last Sunday.

Hundreds of protestors marched through Fort Greene on Palm Sunday to protest three shootings in the Ingersoll and Whitman Houses that resulted in two deaths last month.

“It needs to stop,” said Linda Simpson, resident of the nearby Farragut Houses, and one of the marchers.

Residents of the housing developments blame drugs and disconnected youth for a body count in the 88th Precinct that’s already equal to the number of murders reported in all of 2011.

“I’m tired of the violence,” said Shamecca Davis. “Our childhood friends are dropping like flies,” she added.

But not only are these efforts to fight gun violence within the black community under-reported by America’s national media, so are the ‘other Trayvons’, other young African-Americans murdered in questionable circumstances. These are just some of them.

22-year-old Rekia Boyd was shot and killed last week by an off-duty Chicago police officer in another alleged “Stand Your Ground” incident.

The officer claimed that a gun was pulled on him when he stopped in his car by a group of people by a park to ask them to be less noisy. Firing back, he shot the man he alleged had a gun, hitting him in the hand, and bystander Boyd in the head. Witnesses say no gun was pulled. Prosecutors only charged the man who police say had a gun with aggravated assault, a misdemeanor. No charges have been made on the police officer.

19-year-old Kendrec McDade’s friend was killed by Los Angeles police last weekend after his friend had stolen a backpack and the victim lied, saying that the friend had pulled a gun.

When officers responded to the robbery, they killed McDade, claiming that they saw him reach for his waistband and believed he had a gun. A lawyer for McDade’s parents alleges inconsistencies in the police account of the shooting, including the number of shots fired.

20-year-old Bo Morrison was killed three weeks ago in Wisconsin by a home owner, Adam Kind, when he found Morrison hiding, drunk, on his porch. In an echo of the Martin case, the shooter did not follow police directions. Morrison had not threatened the shooter; he was just on his porch.

Local prosecutors deemed Kind’s deadly force reasonable under the ‘castle doctrine.’ Morrison’s mother said he was trying to hide because he had previous tickets for underage drinking.

“[Adam Kind] executed my son,” she said. “This cannot happen to another kid.”

Whether Mrs. Morrison will get her wish seems unlikely. As Mychal Denzel Smith writes in Ebony, despite the long list of ‘other Trayvons’:

“If you follow the news closely, it’s easy to catch tragedy fatigue.”

· Justice for Bo Morrison Facebook page


Related stories:

Can Trayvon Martin’s Killing Spark National Reflection on Prejudice?

Justice For Trayvon: Repeal “Stand Your Ground” Laws In All 25 States

Zimmerman a “Poster Child” For Gun Lobby

Image Justice for Bo Morrison


Annmari Lundin
Annmari L5 years ago

Just today I read a story about police going to the wrong address to arrest someone, knocked on the door and did not identify themselves and were met by a man with a gun. They fired, like the trigger happy cops they are and killed a completely innocent man. This time the victim was white. As long as the police are allowed to carry guns and have very little training in handling stressful situations, these things will keep happening. There are even cases where police have killed other law enforcement officers just on the notion that they have the right to do so.
Face it, America: This country was built on violence and will continue into its demise if the violence doesn't stop. May it be gangsters killing their own, cops killing anyone or neighborhood watch provoking a stand off, the result are the same. Grieving families, shooters aquitted and more violence.

Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W5 years ago

What I'm finding remarkable here is that, not only is this entire incident NOT making people who would be likely to shoot, give pause; they are defending their right to shoot first and ask questions later.
The level of fear and bloodthirstiness chills me and makes me fearful of just about every other person I may encounter.
And I do not wish to be that way.
But I must always have in the back of my head now, "Is that person armed? Is he/she ready to kill someone? Where would I hide?"
It's completely nutz to think that way, but that is what I feel I'm being driven to.
Some real troglodytes here, lemme tell you!
To defend one's right to take another's life under the most specious of circumstances; I don't know what to call that which would do justice.
Having the drop and the control should be enough. Most people are cowards and that's why they insist on shooting first and justifying afterwards. They are Cowards.

Janice S.
Janice S5 years ago

It is really tragic that so many young people are dying due to gang violence and and other incidents related to crime. I am sure that there are some incidents of misconduct on the part of the police as well as by homeowners--- but I do believe that the majority of times that someone is shot by a police officer or a homeowner or other civilian, it is due to either an actual or percieved threat. Most of the cases mentioned here are not the same as the Trevon Martin case--- he was not posing any kind of threat to anyone-- instead he was the victom of unnecesary gun violence.

Paul canning
Paul canning5 years ago

@donna O

"through a door that was always locked"

that is not what has been reported. I understand it was dark, Bo held up his hand and was shot dead.

Some 'deadly threat'. When police were actually next door.

If someone who enters a porch is liable to be shot then that might include traveling salesman, Christian missionaries or those who HAVE been shot asking for help after their car broke down. This includes tourists unfamiliar with America's 'shoot first, ask questions later' laws.

Paul canning
Paul canning5 years ago

@Robby C.

You met her dad. Simple question then, did he say they were killed because they were white? Did the police say that? Did the prosecutors?

It was a sick,sick killing, but, as i understand it, there is no evidence it was racially motivated. Please tell me if there is any evidence otherwise.

Donna O.
Donna O5 years ago

You got it wrong with Bo, he may have been drunk (Bo that is, and he was underage and shouldn't have been drinking, but, that's a whole other thing) He entered a home, through a door that was always locked. The homeowner wasn't on the phone with the police. His wife, hiding in a closet, was on the phone with them. If someone enters my home in the middle of the night they may get shot too. I have the right to protect myself and my loved ones. I don't have a right to follow someone because I think "they're up to something" and then shoot them because I scared the crap out of them as Trayvon's killer did.

Jennifer Schultz
Jennifer Schultz5 years ago

to the people who say that zimmerman got stitched up in the car-WHO DID IT? Cops are not paramedics. His nose was not swollen and the cops are saying he went right to the cop station-where were his bloody clothes. and to omega(what are you a fish lol)when cops got to trayvon HE WAS DEAD AND THEY DID NOTHING.
Oh and I am sure they got his phone and called his folks right? NOT. Far as his photo the one where he is wearing a hoodie is right befoe he turned 17. And zimmermans' pic was old; he actually is quite muscular. HE WAS TOLD NOT TO FOLLOW HIM. Sick of people saying they only told his "we don't need you to do that"; like it was ok for him to follow the kid anyway.
The gated community is 20% black, 50% white and 30% latino for one thing. And those audio experts who have listened to the tape said it was NOT ZIMMERMAN!!!!!!!!! Did you get your news from faux news and sexual harrasser bill do'reilly. And that name isnt nasty like the names they call president obama(and YES HE IS PRESIDENT UNLIKE THE ONE WHO WAS APPOINTED BY THE SUPREME COURT IN 2000 SO HE COULD AVENGE BUSH SR. THREAT ON HIS LIFE FROM SADDAM HUSSEIN SINCE HE TOLD SCHWARTZKOFF WHO HAD HIM CONERED)and bill do'reilly did have to pay that woman.
If you want to hear about a case, a black gentleman in white plains ny, who was a marine veteran;68 was at home and his medic alert system went off. medical help came and they were getitng ready to leave when cops came. They asked the man to open the

Billie C.
Billie C5 years ago

timothy m that can't be racial because it was black on white. no way would they consider it racial. just like the black panthers forcing people to vote for obama. since it was black on black that was ok and nothing was ever done about. we have 2 sets of laws, one for blacks and ones for whites. people wonder why things are getting worse. could it be because we are all not treated the same?

timothy m.
timothy m5 years ago

What about justice for the white kid who was doused with gasoline and set ablaze by two black thugs in a clearly racial hate crime ("you get what you deserve, white boy")? How about it, Sharpton? How about it, Jackson? How about it, Care2?

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L5 years ago