Public Safety Experiences
We have distilled experiences from our community on how they interact with their communites and the police inforcement in their area. We hope shedding light on individual stories will help us better understand our city and focus our actions into possitive change.
JONATHAN, A YOUNG LIFE TAKEN UPTOWN IN 2008
Fri, Nov. 25, 2011
My son Jonathan turned 19 in March 3, 2008. Last time I saw him in New Orleans was March 25, 2008. In June 2008, at my daughter's graduation ceremony in New York City, one seat remained empty: Jonathan could not attend his sister's graduation ceremony.
He disappeared during the night of April 6. On April 12, 2008, NOPD found a decomposing body hidden under an abandoned house on Willow/Upperline, Uptown, 4 minute driving distance from our house.
They could not tell if he was a black or white man. They just could tell that he was young and had been shot twice in the head. He was Jonathan, my son.
I never could see him again, not even to hold him a very last time. It also means that I still do not know the date it happened. Why did "they" bother hiding him under a house? Maybe because they live nearby.
Jonathan was probably killed for some stupid motive, just like hundreds of young people in New Orleans, a rumor, a wrong word, a wrong look, wrong girlfriend, wrong "friends"...
He meant such much for his family and it is a constant torture to live with what happened.
The suspects were not arrested because of Silence, and since then they can keep being active in Violence.
Family from Andorra, France, Spain, Dominican Republic and Guatemala attended Jonathan’s funeral as well as friends, ex teachers, and…. his dogs that he loved.
He had a strong personality and the ability to inspire people. Four people got a tattoo in his memory, one friend named his baby boy after Jonathan. I even did learn from him on many aspects.
Since April 2008, my mind is constantly connected to what happened. I am even still waiting for my son to come back home. This love is unconditional, unlimited, beyond rationality. This kind of love can make you lose your mind, lose your energy as well as give you an extraordinary boost to pick yourself up, hide your scar and hit the road of Life with you bag of broken pieces.
So much waste of lives, waste of hopes.
When it is a beautiful day, you regret your lost one is not here to enjoy it, when it is too cold, you still think about his discomfort. And the same despair and pain than back to that day you received THE phone call that will change your life forever.
Parents have this unlimited dedication to protect their child, but parents victim of Violence need the help of the community. And the "snitching" or not ''snitching" does not make a difference since most of the ones who lost their life probably never snitched. When they want to take a life, they just do it, it is their lifestyle, no second thought, they don't care, plus they build their "hood resume".
Any lost one is a victim, regarless who he/she is. Any lost one's family member is a victim of violence. Any violent neighborhood resident is a victim of violence. We are all potential victims of violence.
Jonathan was "the number 50" of 2008. Since then, 645 young people died, 645 families destroyed, nothing has changed. "No motive, no suspect". Nobody saw, heard or remembered anything and you spend the rest of your life with this huge frustration of being powerless, locked in your own damaged soul, surviving inside an endless spiral of pain.
Violence and Silence: New Orleans blights.