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by Peter Moskos

March 22, 2014

It just don't make sense...

Angel Rojas came to the US four years ago from the Dominican Republic with his wife, Maria Lopez and their two kids, now 12 and 8. Rojas was on a break between two jobs, riding the bus home to, (from the New York Times):
...hug his children and grab a quick bite. When three young adults stepped aboard the bus, he most likely thought nothing of it.

Several rows back, the police say, a 14-year-old boy, a member of a street gang called the Stack Money Goons, had a visceral reaction. At least one of the three young adults belonged to a warring crew; there was a shared flash of recognition, and then, the police say, the 14-year-old pulled out a .357 revolver and fired one shot inside the bus.

The bullet missed the intended target but struck Mr. Rojas in the back of the head. Mr. Rojas had no time to react; there were few if any words exchanged, and police officials said a video of the encounter showed Mr. Rojas’s head simply slumping forward after sustaining the mortal wound.
After Kathon fired the shot aboard the bus, he and the three young adults ran off the bus; five more shots were fired outside.... None of those bullets struck anyone; the police recovered the revolver, and all six rounds had been fired.
The age of this killer made me think of the youngest armed kids I arrested, I searched my notes and found it on Christmas Day, December 25, 2000:
Busy night at work. Merry Christmas. People getting their last minute Christmas robbing in. And lot’s more Christmas Fussing.
A guy was robbed by 2 kids at Monument and Port. The kids were caught under a car at Patterson Park. 13 years old and really young looking. About 4 feet tall. I found the knife at Montford and Patterson Park. A small cheap steak knife. Turns out both of these kids have quite a record, going back about 2 years. Selling coke. Attempt 1st degree sex offense. 2nd degree sex offense.
Back in New York, says the Times:
One young man would not answer questions and pointed at the windows of the housing project beside him, to indicate crew members might be watching. "One thing I’m going to tell you, those little kids, they ain’t to be messed with," he said.
Well... those gun-toting kids are to be messed with. And the police are those who are paid to do the messing.

Police have to deal with these kids, not just after they kill an innocent person, but before, when they're hanging on the corner acting tough, and maybe not carrying a gun. But faced with a potentially armed person, no matter the age, police do not put on kids' gloves.

Some 14-year-old kids carry gun and use them to kill people on the bus. Keep that in mind next time you blame police for harassing kids. Had young Kathon been shot and killed by the cops before his murder, the Times would print a picture of cute 13-years-old Kathon "graduating" from 8th grade. Kathon's mother would be found, crying, saying how her lil' angel may have been involved in a little trouble, but he was a good kid. Sure a gun was recovered, but a "witness" would come forward saying Kathon wasn't armed: "Police just shot the kid for no reason!" You, dear liberal reader, would think the truth was somewhere in between and blame the police. It doesn't make sense.


Unknown said...

We need to reinstate stop and frisk. I seriously question the logic behind not keeping us safe from these issues. If stop and frisk was still around, perhaps this dummy would have not walked out of his home with it.... People suck...

PCM said...

Except it's not clear that stop and frisk would prevent this. Overall crime hasn't gone up.

Kyle W said...

The answer to one person committing a crime is not to take away the rights of everybody else.

Also, what he ^ said.

Anonymous said...

Peter, your post is spot on. But I will also add that if the cops had shot poor, innocent Kathon prior to his committing a murder, it likely would have been national news. Instead, it is just another day on the streets of America. As an armed robbery detective in a major city, I can say absolutely that 13 and 14 year olds with guns are a major problem. However, because the schools, criminal justice system and likely their parents DO treat them with kid gloves, the police are the only ones left to deal with them and try to keep innocent lives from being lost, becuase these kids do not understand, or worse do not care about the consequences of their actions.