Two boys went missing on a Sunday on Milwaukee's North West Side. Quadrevion Henning, 12, and Purvis Virginia Parker, 11, were last seen at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 19th, 2006. They went out to play and never came home. (see story below) Purvis and Quadrevion just seemed to vanish and although the entire city hoped, prayed and helped to find them. No one was successful in figuring out what happened. The parks in the area were searched over and over, just gone...
Yesterday, their bodies were found in a lagoon in McGovern Park. The same park where people had suspected they may have gone, searched again and again and quietly hoped they wouldn't be found.
My daughter (15) who never knew these boys started crying this morning when she read the news, my husband and I have been in a funk all day, no one else has been able to blog on it, and I went to the store only to find people in the aisles saying things like, "It's so sad." "What a bad way for this to end." "I still had hope...". The checkers were sad and talking about it, it just seems that as the news is slowly creaping across the city, it's put everyone in a sad place.
My heart goes out to the parents, family, school classmates and friends and all who helped in the search. Knowing where they are will not bring them back, but knowing will give a level of comfort just above not knowing.
I am so sad.
Another terrible thing happened yesterday. Again, no blogs yet, so I'll do the honors of the hard talk.
An all-white jury came back with a not guilty verdict in the severe near murderous beating of a black man (they keep saying biracial hoping we don't know what that means) Frank Jude, at the hands of a completely drunk group of off duty police officers. This reminds me of another young man beaten to death decades ago in Milwaukee at the hands of police, Ernest Lacy. While the police chief, Nan Hagerty (whom I normally have a great deal of respect for), sits around and chastises her cops like children for keeping the code of silence, while another cop was left for dead (literally, she was alone on a call, it got dangerous, she called for back up and they ALL refused to help her-attempted murder in my eyes) for actually testifying the truth, and the only punishment is being fired for a crime they have now been exhonerated for (I'll be the least surprised when the MFPC reinstates them), Milwaukee's entire justice system has just been made a mockery of...
I have some questions, some rhetorical, some angry rants, some I'd actually like to hear your thoughts on...
- Why was the defense allowed to systematically exclude all potential black jurors?
- Why weren't more cops fired for refusing to talk?
- Why did a group of cops drinking for 10 hours straight beat a man to near death in a gang like beating (aren't they the ones who were supposed to stop these things from happening??)?
- Why did the cops who showed up to help, cover up, refuse to collect evidence and sabotage the scene of the crime?
- Why did an all white jury exhonerate all white cops who clearly and without cause beat a black man to near death?
- Why does the black community distrust the cops?
- Why isn't the city enraged? I know the answer to this one.
Because they expected it, and because we are all so damn sad about the two boys that we don't have it in us. I'm not saying we should in anyway advocate violence. That will just exasperate the problem. We should however, let the powers that be know that this city is on the edge. Unemployment among black men is the highest in history, almost all black and poor children are being left behind in education, and we have the highest incarceration rate among young black men in the entire United States.
My pride for a city I love took a huge blow yesterday.
Guess I'll just help pick up the pieces and continue the struggle, it's clearly not over yet.