NEW YORK — At a children’s summer party last Saturday afternoon at the Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway, Penny Wrencher made an introduction between two friends.
She knew they would have something in common.
“This is Nene,” Wrencher said to Taylonn Murphy, “She lost her daughter, too.”
Murphy and Vernell “Nene” Britt smiled, shook hands and looked at each other in recognition. They had both lost charismatic, basketball-playing daughters in shooting feuds.
In the summer of 2006, Britt was awakened by a phone call with news that her 18-year-old daughter, Latina “Peanut” Bilbro, had been involved in a shooting. She descended the Redfern tower where she lived and discovered Peanut lying on the pavement with a fatal gunshot wound to her chest.
Civil rights groups filed a federal complaint Tuesday challenging a Texas city’s ban on providing housing to “refugees” or foreigners such as the Central American children who’ve been turning themselves in at the border.
Taylonn Murphy, Penny Wrencher, Shenee Johnson and Vernell Britt have all lost children to gun violence. Last Saturday, they came together at the "Children's Day of Peace" event at Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway. JJIE photographer Laura Bult documented the moving event.
It is difficult to repair a broken relationship, one built on years of distrust. It is especially tough if you are the parent of a child forever getting caught up in the juvenile justice system, knowing their kid can be harassed and possibly injured or arrested for simply walking down the street. Continue Reading →
At the end of last year, the Illinois General Assembly found itself in uncharted territory.
In response to an ongoing crisis of gun violence in some of Chicago’s poorest communities, Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked Illinois state legislators for increased mandatory minimum prison sentences for illegal gun possession. Continue Reading →
LOS ANGELES — The walls of Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, Calif., were hardly unfamiliar to Prophet Walker. As a teenager, Walker spent nearly half of his six-year prison sentence at Ironwood after he was convicted of assault causing great bodily injury and robbery at the age of 16.
This June, Walker, now 26, returned to Ironwood. However, this time it was not as a prisoner, but as a candidate for state office and a role model to the young men who stand where Walker stood just several years ago. Continue Reading →