He looks like a mere child in the images shown by local news media last week. Trevon Johnson, 17, is now deceased, and anyone with an ounce of humanity must regard that as a tragedy.
It’s not something to joke about. It’s an awful thing, and it’s happening far too often. According to his relatives, Trevon was a funny, smart guy who was all about getting himself educated. He was in school and trying to make something of his life. He had a future. But now he’s dead of a gunshot wound.
One of the women interviewed by the media, in the segment below, decries his shooting and makes this poignant plea:
You have to understand, you have to look at it from every, um, child’s point of view that was raised in the ‘hood, how he going to get his money to have clothes or go to school…
What was Trevon doing when he was shot?
He was burglarizing the home of a 54-year-old woman in south Miami.
Now, the situation isn’t necessarily as cut and dried as it might sound. The media are reporting that Johnson was climbing out of the home’s window when the woman shot him. His relatives swear he hadn’t taken anything, although the police haven’t spoken publicly about that.
The woman’s home had reportedly been burglarized before, which may or may not excuse shooting a fleeing burglar. Citizens could legitimately disagree – whatever she had a right to do under the law – on whether it was necessary to shoot the intruder in this case. The news reports indicate she had called 911, and was waiting for the police to arrive.
The Miami-Dade Police are still investigating. They haven’t decided whether the homeowner might be charged with anything. In some parts of the country, there’d be no question that she wouldn’t be charged. In other areas, there’s a good chance she would be. Americans don’t all see this kind of situation the same way.
If you look at the woman’s house, you know she’s not an upper-income householder with an insular sense of safety and well-being. She’s not going to see the sanctity of her home as invulnerable, and a burglary as an odd rarity, the way she would if she lived in an affluent suburb. People who do live in affluent suburbs may have trouble seeing her reality through her eyes.
She’s a poor person herself. And as a poor person, she’s the principal target of the high crime rate in an area like hers. When sanctimonious people demand that homeowners not shoot intruders, except in the narrow circumstances that the sanctimonious themselves would approve, it’s women like this one whom they are heaping the burdens on. They’re asking her to bear all the cost of their third-party consciences, tucked safely away in the well-buffered suburbs.
The homeowner probably wouldn’t agree with the proposition that a 17-year-old had to invade her home, so he could have money for clothes and school. But we have a class of Americans that will, in fact, make excuses for the village that raised Trevon Johnson – instead of expecting better from it.
The big thing those Americans have in common is that their own children don’t ever have to be Trevon Johnson, and their sisters and mothers don’t have to live with him on their streets.
The feature image of the late Trevon Johnson, at the top, is his mug shot from a prior arrest earlier this year. This story never changes.