Politics and Crime: FORMULA FOR DEATH
Recently FOX 59 News reported that Rev. Charles Harrison, Pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church and leader of The Ten Point Coalition on March 30th actually confronted Simeon Adams, the 16 year old youth who is arrested for the murder at the 3500 block of West 16th Street of NathanTrapuzzano. It is further reported that during this confrontation Rev. Harrison and his street workers told the group of youth, that included Simeon, that it was time to leave the parking lot of the Marathon Service Station located at 29th and MLK Street. The way that Simeon was approached caused him to become concerned because it is reported that Simeon asked “Why y’all behind me?” This statement implies fear. At that point it is reported that Rev. Harrison noticed a bulge under Simeon’s sweater and knew the bulge was a gun and was being “signaled by the street outreach workers that he had a gun.” According to the report this confrontation almost erupted into gunfire. Well I guess so!! Let me explain why.
I don’t doubt the sincerity of Pastor Harrison. And I applaud the Ten Point Coalition efforts to do something to address the violence, which too often ends in murder, which the streets of Indianapolis are unfortunately experiencing. However, as it is reported and Pastor Harrison admits, he and the Ten Point Coalition don’t know what they are doing. And because they don’t know what they are doing they are quite possibly making a bad situation worse. Here’s what I mean. This same article reports that after Pastor Harrison’s conversation with the group that included Simeon there were shots heard across the street at the Steak & Lemonade eatery and the group that included Simeon had left the conversation with Rev. Harrison and went across the street and took part in the shooting where 7-8 shots were fired. In fact, according to the report, Erik Douglas told police that Simeon bumped into him and began shooting which Simeon now has been charged with attempted murder because of Douglas’ accusation. I appreciated Pastor Harrison’s honesty when he reportedly admits he and his workers don’t know what to do. If what is reported is correct then I agree one hundred and one percent. Here’s why.
As I am a converted Christian I am also a converted criminal. And because of my experiences in the criminal world I have a very good understanding of how a criminal thinks. Not only does my street life help my understanding but my training in psychology at IUPUI, along with my counseling classes required at the Interdenominational Theological Center, also are tools that give me resources to determine the thoughts going through the minds of Simeon and the group. And again, what I am going to say is not a dig at Pastor Harrison’s sincerity, or the members of the Ten Point Coalition. I am taking to task their skill level. With the knowledge I have I would suggest to never confront but engage. Rev. Harrison you are a Pastor, not the police. And because you acted like the police instead of a Pastor, Simeon and the group rebelled against your directions instead of following them. If you had mine, and others’ background you would have known that in a potential criminal’s mind confrontation most likely breeds resistance. This resistance can become physical and possibly deadly. I can see where your confrontation was quite possibly used as the excuse to carry out the shooting across the street, because, in their mind, you made Simeon fearful by getting behind him and you made members of the group mad and instead of confronting you and your back up, they decided to take it out on somebody across the street. You are not responsible for Simeon and the group’s behavior but your obvious lack of knowledge could have very well fueled thoughts that contributed to the thinking that provide the excuse to go across the street and shoot up Steak & Lemonade’s parking lot. There are obviously a plethora of glaring other mistakes I see and I am willing to share those, but it would be too lengthy to do so now and I want to here talk about the politics of this crime.
Mayor Greg Ballard has given Ten Point Coalition hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid in making Indianapolis streets safe. If what is reported is correct, then Rev. Harrison has publicly admitted that Ten Point doesn’t know what it is doing. In my humble opinion, if Pastor Harrison had taken a counseling approach instead of the approach of a cop then it is quite possible Erik Douglas would not have got shot and Nathan Trapuzzano would not be dead. Rev. CL Day, president of Concerned Clergy, along with other members of Concerned Clergy are certified mental health providers. Prisoner Reformed United, Inc. founder Rev. Byron Vaughn, and members of his organization, as converted criminals, are experts at identifying potential criminal thinking because of our experiences in the criminal world. Both of these organizations have the expertise to know what to do if they had been the ones engaging Simeon Brown. Our engagement would have calmed the situation instead of escalating it. I feel comfortable saying that after a conversation with members of either of these organizations that the results would not have been Erik Douglas being shot twice and Nathan Trapuzanno 36 hours later being killed. The politics of crime prevention monies have got to widen so these organizations can use their skill sets to help truly to prevent crime and to make city streets safer. Spending the city’s resource and getting these results are unacceptable. I have one more thing to say.
The press is also complicit in creating a mentality that provokes citizens to promote a police state. Here’s why. First let me state I am not against law enforcement, and understand the need for such, but I don’t want to live in a police state whether it is a Pastor acting like the police or the actual police stepping on our constitutional rights. That being stated let me get back to the point of how the press is complicit. When Simeon was videoed going to his hearing for killing Nathan he happen to be smiling. If you view the video closely the person to which he is chained is also laughing. These two were evidently engage in conversation and something rubbed them as being funny. Having been in that same jail with the press waiting for me to come around the corner I know for a fact that I was never informed that the press was waiting on me to come around the corner. So with my experience I feel comfortable with saying that Simeon had not decided to be laughing when he knew he was going to be filmed so that he would send the message than he was insensitive to the situation he now finds himself. Simeon has probably been mentally ill since the early part of his life. It is reported his mother drowned when he was about 2 years old. His daddy gave him away. And nowhere do I see it reported that he was given the counseling that he obviously needed. This is the same situation vets experience coming out of a war theatre. We don’t get the counseling needed so we can handle the trauma we have experienced. I am willing to bet that Simeon and his conversation partner were not laughing at the loss of life of Nathan of which Simeon is accused. Yet, the press connected the smile with the murder as if they were directly related. Quit it!! The city does not need the press promoting young males of African descent as being insensitive killers. Press ratings are not more important than the safe life of this city. If we truly want to decrease crime, and make this city become more than the world class city it already is, then we all must be honest about our own behavior and keep our integrity intact. I am Rev. Mmoja Ajabu, candidate for Congress in Indiana’s 7th District.
Here is the link to the article so extensively quoted: http://fox59.com/2014/04/09/criminal-history-traces-teens-path-to-murder-arrest/#ixzz2yqFDwJkN