Tag Archives: murder

And we pause to …

… remember John Lennon.

Usually we run a piece on John this time of year (he was murdered on Dec. 8). Today, we’ll just let genius speak for itself. Click on links below. – R. T.

John songs:





A Paul song:



Trayvon Martin: Hoodies, Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea

By Parlee Jones

By now we have all heard the terrible injustice that has happened in Sanford, Florida. A 17-year-old young man named Trayvon Martin going to the store for snacks during half time of the NBA All-Star Game. Returning back to his dad’s girlfriend’s house in a gated community. Assaulted and shot by 28 year old self appointed neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. Trayvon was wearing his hoodie, this is what made Zimmerman see him as “suspicious”, the hoodie and the color of his skin. I’m not going to go into all the details, but one of the things that hit’s me hardest is the fact that Trayvon’s parents were not notified for three days, even though, the Sanford police had his cell phone.

My heart and soul weep with Trayvon’s parents, and all parents who have lost children to violence, perpetrated by whomever!

The one positive thing to take away from this terrible situation is how the WORLD COMMUNITY came together to voice their objection to Zimmerman not being arrested. How incredible to see all this support! Change.org is up to 2 and a quarter million signatures. It humbles me. It gives me hope. Hope for a brighter future.

Leaving us open for a real dialog ~ a dialog of truth.

No judgment ~ fact.

No shame ~ Acceptance.

Some people have suggested that we “teach” our kids how to react to “these types of situations”. What is the situation? Walking home from the store or walking while Black?

I feel what our children need is to know the Afrikan experience from the time we hit the shores of America. Not the text book version, which they are trying to water down even more, through curriculum renewal, but the real deal. As an old African Proverb states, “Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter”. Knowledge of self to better yourself.

Middle Passage ~ Willie Lynch ~ Jim Crow ~ Tuskegee Study ~ Labor Camps ~ Cointelpro ~ Fred Hampton ~ Emmet Till ~ Rosewood ~ Amadou Diallo ~ Rodney King ~ Abner Louima ~ Sean Bell ~ Jermaine Carter ~ Burning of Black Wall Street ~ James Anderson ~ James Byrd ~ I could go on and on!

We need to acknowledge these histories! Only then will our children know the ills that they are up against. Only then will they know how to react to the “situations” they find themselves in. Hmmm.

I stand here as a mother, sister, auntie, cousin to Black boys and Men. I stand here for the grandmothers of Black boys and men. I write this for our girl children too. You know why, because we came to these shores together in the bowels of the slave ships and have suffered through the same trials and tribulations. I am a strong believer of Sankofa ~ and adrinka symbol which means go back and fetch it ~ knowing your past to move on in the present and prepare for the future. Yes, people, it is that deep!

It’s that deep that our children must be awakened from this mental slavery.
From what they put in their minds and what they put in their bodies, we have to show them our glory and our pain. Maybe we can put it in a hip hop video. Maybe we can design a new line of clothing, but I digress!

Some friends and I are putting together a homage for Trayvon and our Boys and Men of Color. We will have living testimonies of experiences here in Worcester living as a Black man or boy. We will show a history of what has transpired since Plymouth Rock landed on us, as El Hajj Malik El Shabazz has said. We will talk about supporting our young people of color by being there to listen to and believe them. More details to follow soon!

I leave you with the words to Redemption Song by Robert Nesta Marley who pretty much sums up the experiences I refer to!

Old pirates, yes, they rob I. Sold I to the merchant ships. Minutes after they took I from the bottomless pit. But my hands were made strong, by the hands of the Almighty. We forward in this generation, triumphantly. Won’t you help to sing these songs of Freedom, for all I ever have is a Redemption Song. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind. Have no fear for atomic energy, for none of them can stop the time. How long shall they kill our CHILDREN (prophets) while we stand aside and look? Some say it’s just a part of it, we’ve got to fulfill the book. Won’t you help to say, these songs of freedom, is all I ever had ~ Redemption Song!

These are my thoughts. No disrespect to anyone intended.

Write your tribute to John Lennon …

here:  http://imaginepeace.com/

It’s a wonderful John Lennon/peace website constructed by his widow, Yoko Ono.

Lennon was murdered 31 years ago today. I have written about Lennon and the Beatles and what they meant to me growing up in Green Island so long ago. They continue – especially Lennon – to inspire me – and people all over the world.

I – like many Baby Boomers – remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when the news came over the radio.

I still miss you, John …

– R. Tirella

The connection between domestic violence and animal cruelty‏

By Deb Young

In recent years, a strong connection has been documented linking domestic violence, child abuse and animal abuse.

Nationwide, professionals in such fields as law enforcement, child protection, human and veterinary medicine, domestic violence intervention, education, and animal control — among other fields — are beginning to realize that they need to know more about the many connections between animal cruelty and violence against humans.

In a number of studies , one national and the others statewide, 71% to 83% of the women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their partners also abused or killed the family pet.

Women who do seek safety at shelters are nearly 11 times more likely to report that their partner has hurt or killed their animals than women who have not experienced domestic abuse.

When an abuser threatens, abuses, or kills an animal, several messages are being relayed to the human victim.
The abuse, or even threat to abuse the animal, displays the domination and control the abuser has over the victim.
The abuser often is successful in getting his message across through abuse of the pet.
For example, following through on threats to injure or kill an animal shows the victim that the abuser is willing to kill an animal and that he may also kill the victim.

Not only can abuse of the pet be used to manipulate or coerce a partner or child into compliance with the abuser’s wishes, it also can be used to frighten, intimidate, punish, or retaliate against a partner or child.
Especially , if the animal is the victim’s only source of love and affection, killing or injuring the animal further isolates the victim from anyone or anything but the abuser.

Many years ago I was told the story of a woman who finally left her abuser and was staying at a shelter. One day, the woman approached an advocate at the shelter and said ‘I have to go home.”
The victim had received pword of her abuser cutting off the ears of her dog with scissors. The victim knew that the only way to save the life of her dog and other animals at the house was to return to her abuser. Situations like this and the fear of what will happen to a beloved pet often keeps a victim from leaving their abuser.

Just as animal abuse is related to domestic violence, so it is also related to child abuse, another form of family violence.
Studies have found that in 88 percent of families where there had been physical abuse of children, there were also records of animal abuse.

For children, the abuse of the pet can have vast, long-term effects on their well-being.
Children who witness or are victims of domestic violence may start to abuse pets as a way of releasing their anger or expressing their distress.

In a study of abusive households with pets, it was found that in 32 percent of these homes, the children abused their pets.
Certainly not all children who abuse animals or witness abuse will grow up to be abusers or mass murderers. However, the fact children witness abuse of both their mothers and pets can only increase the chance that they will adjust poorly to life as they get older. Additionally, children who are raised in an abusive environment learn that violence is a way to solve problems.
Less well known is the fact that many of the infamous school shooters also engaged in animal cruelty before turning their aggression against their classmates, teachers, and parents.

If you break it down to its bare essentials: “Abusing an animal is a way for a human to find power, joy, fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know cannot defend itself”

Now break down a human crime, say rape. If we substitute a few pronouns, it’s the SAME THING. “Rape is a way for a human to find power, joy, fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know cannot defend themselves”

Now try it with, say, domestic abuse such as child abuse or spousal abuse:

“Child abuse is a way for a human to find power/joy/fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know cannot defend themselves.”

Do you see the pattern here?

There is legitimate evidence that the individuals involved in violent acts against animals present a danger to the public that must be addressed. Intentional animal abuse is often seen in association with other serious crimes including drug offenses, gang activity, weapons violations, sexual assault and domestic violence—and can be one of the most visible parts of an entire history of aggressive or antisocial behavior.Virtually every serious violent offender has a history of animal abuse in their past, and since there’s no way to know which animal abuser is going to continue on to commit violent human crimes, they should ALL be taken that seriously.

The line separating an animal abuser from someone capable of committing human abuse is much finer than most people care to consider. People abuse animals for the same reasons they abuse people & enough have been proven to continue on to commit violent crimes to people that it’s worth paying attention to.

Curbing prostitution along Main South’s Main Street corridor: a one-year Community Policing pilot

By Worcester District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller

Last September, neighbors stood shoulder-to-shoulder at a press conference at the corner of Main and Hitchcock streets to acknowledge that prostitution was embedded along Main Street from Madison to Webster Square: “Our children, our spouses, and ourselves are being victimized every day by prostitution.

It is not just seeing the prostitutes ply their trade or the johns stalking in their cars and trucks. It is not only the ugly and physical domination of pimps, the unwanted solicitations to our youth and young women, the frequent foul language, and the painful addiction behaviors.

Nor is it solely the fear of our apartment buildings being invaded by desperate individuals. It is all of this for sure. But the real cry comes from the sense of hopelessness that is descending on us that says ‘This is how it is and this is how will be.’”

The group was made up of myself, members of the Main South Alliance for Public Safety, the Main South CDC, Clark University, each of the six crime watches in Main South, St. Peter’s Parish, and local business owners.

After a particularly bad summer of constant prostitution activity we were calling for resources to truly end this blight on our present and future. At the community meeting that followed, Bill Breault (Main South Alliance for Public Safety), Casey Starr (Main South CDC), and myself committed ourselves to form a Curbing Prostitution Task Force to develop a strategy to be implemented by April 2011. Various community members, staff from the YWCA’s Daybreak Program, Worcester Police Department, District Attorney’s Office, and Probation Department met throughout the fall and winter where we rolled up our collective sleeves and produced a consensus community policing strategy.

The key parts of the strategy:

1. Make curbing prostitution a city public safety priority.

2. Continue monthly task force meeting or the next year to assess success/failure and to make the strategy more robust.

3. Active reporting of prostitution behaviors by the community.

4. Decrease demand (males buying sex for a fee).

5. Decrease supply (females selling sex for a fee).

6. Collect and evaluate data on where prostitution is happening.

I am pleased to report that the strategy is now being implemented. You may have recently read about or seen some police stings. These will continue, with particular emphasis on arresting the johns. Probation and the District Attorney’s Office will increase their work to have both female and male offenders sent to the DAWN and CARD programs as a condition of their sentences.

Daybreak and Probation will drive these education programs and collect data on the number of people attending and track recidivism.

The City Manager and the task force will work to find resources for an outreach worker and resources to help women exit prostitution. The Main South Alliance, the Main South CDC and I will soon distribute information to Main South neighbors on how to effectively report prostitution activity.

How you can help:

 · OBSERVE prostitution trolling by females and males, · CALL 508 799 8606 and say, “I am reporting prostitution activity,” · REPORT street locations (corner of …, in front of …), activity (female soliciting, male soliciting, etc.), and descriptions (female with white jacket, male in green sedan, etc.), and · JOIN a neighborhood/business association.

Do not expect the police to show up. I repeat, DO NOT EXPECT THE POLICE TO SHOW UP. While this may happen, the purpose of Observe, Call, Report, and Join is to gather data on where and when prostitution is happening. This data will be used to set up stings, increase public safety and community presence in an area, track where the prostitution traffic is moving, and track increases/decreases in prostitution activity along the corridor.

If you want to join the task force, learn when and where a neighborhood association is meeting, need more info, or have some ideas about how we can make a difference, call/email me.

Stay in touch.

On the Arizona shootings

By Jack Hoffman

As soon as Jared Lee Loughner was captured, the media began its blame game: What was the motive? But as the smoke began to clear, a picture began to evolve of a madman gone wild.

The evidence so far has shown that Loughner takes on the description of a paranoid schizophrenic. Studies have shown less than 1% of paranoid schizophrenic will become violent. What we do know is that Jared Loughner listed on his own website some of his favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, Through the Looking Glass, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Communist Manifesto. David Brooks of The New York Times writes “that many of these books take on a common theme: individuals trying to control their own thoughts and governments, or some other force trying to take that control away.”

Certainly Jared’s behavior and tirades in his classroom, while brandishing the same gun used in his murderous nightmare, seem to lend lots of credence to mental instability. Behavior that many of his students, acquaintances and neighbors all knew and did nothing about. So where were the parents in all of this? Continue reading On the Arizona shootings

Crime and violence in our city

By Sue Moynagh

Recently, there has been increased gun violence in the Oak Hill neighborhood of Worcester, especially this past summer. Two shots were fired at a car on Harrison Street early in July. Soon after this, shots were fired at the Coral and Waverly Street intersection. There was a shooting on Mendon Street on August 24, and within a week, approximately six shots were fired at a house near the corner of Providence and Harrison Streets.

A woman was shot and killed on Fairfax Road.

I have also heard two gun shots on Saturday, October 9, at 10:40 p.m., and four shots the following Friday at approximately the same time. A small local market had the door window smashed and was robbed at gun point soon afterwards. Most or all of these incidents are tied in with drug activity in the area. Two long-time residents have had bullets shot through their windows.

Recently a man was attacked and hit over the head with a hammer on Mott Street. Continue reading Crime and violence in our city

Crime update

By Sue Moynagh

A month ago, a group of neighborhood people, with the help of Representative John Fresolo, held a press conference to speak out against increasing violence in our Union Hill community. I wrote an article for the InCity Times a few days later, detailing our concerns, and letting the public know that we all have to play a part in taking back our neighborhood. On Monday, November 29, there was another press conference, in Green Island’s Crompton Park, because of another act of senseless violence. The body of Kevin Shavies, age 21, was found early Sunday morning. He died of a gunshot wound to the head. The violence continues.

Later on the same day, a group of concerned residents met at the Green Island Neighborhood Center for the second public hearing on the Crompton Park Master Plan Update. Police Chief Gary Gemme attended, knowing the issue of safety would be foremost in our minds. He could give little information about the victim or the progress of the investigation, which has been given high priority, but reassured residents that police presence in Green Island would increase. Reinforcements would come, however, from the Vernon Hill neighborhood. (Union Hill is often referred to as Vernon or Oak Hill). He also asked those present to call and report if they have any information about this crime. The need for community involvement is crucial. This was something we had stressed at our own neighborhood press conference a month ago- the need for public participation in taking back our community. Continue reading Crime update

Turning kids into killers

By Martin Mersereau

A new Wisconsin law begs the question: How low will hunting lobbyists go?

In an effort to revive a dying sport, states across the country are loosening hunting restrictions and putting loaded weapons into younger and younger hands. The Wisconsin law, which went into effect this month, lowers the state’s hunting age from 12 to 10. Since 2004, more than a dozen other states have also changed their laws to allow younger children to hunt. According to the Associated Press, 30 states do not even have a minimum hunting age. Continue reading Turning kids into killers