Shatavia Walls – Casualty of Listening to a Politician
Shatavia Walls was shot to death after following the advice of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to “reason” with your neighbors instead of calling the police with their “heavy-handed” methods. When a bunch of people began setting off illegal fireworks, she tried to “reason” with them. One of them shot her. (New York Post)
A “nonviolent” situation that turned bad
Brooklyn was experiencing a “pyrotechnic plague” – constant shooting of illegal fireworks near where children were playing. It was upsetting to Shatavia Walls, 33.
On July 4, Walls confronted the “punks” shooting off fireworks.
A scuffle ensued when she attempted to talk to them. One of them chased her into her mother’s apartment building, pulled out a gun and torched off a round at her. He missed. He left, she picked up the spent cartridge and his driver’s license (which he dropped during the altercation) and called 911, according to her mother, Helen Testagros. Police denied they ever heard anything about that first encounter.
On July 7, once again, a group began setting off fireworks near the children. This time Shatavia and a friend named Kelvin Hernandez confronted the people and told them to stop. The man who shot at her the first time wasn’t there, but one of the people ran to get him. He came running.
He began chasing Shatavia and her friend, shooting at them. One round found its target.
“He walked over. She was on the ground shot. And he kept shooting until the gun went ‘click, click, click.’” Helen Testagros
Shatavia Walls survived long enough to tell police who the suspect was. She succumbed to her wounds ten days later. She had been shot 8 times. Her friend Kelvin Hernandez was also shot, and recuperated in the hospital.
The whole concept of confronting “nonviolent actions” on your own is foolish.
“It’s not a good idea. You don’t know who you are approaching. These kids are not respectful anymore. … They’re more ruthless.” Helen Testagros
But Eric Adams and the politicians like him are more worried about police being violent.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Sunday addressed the skyrocketing use of illegal fireworks in the city — and urged New Yorkers not to report the blasts so as to avoid “heavy-handed policing.”
Instead of calling 311 or 911, neighbors should “go talk to the young people or the people on your block who are using fireworks” and warn them of the dangers, Adams said at a press conference.
“Stopping fireworks cannot turn into fireworks between the police and the community,” Adams said.
“We want a good community response to dealing with a nuisance,” he continued. “This is a nonviolent act. So those three numbers that we all dial, 911, get over that.” New York Post
Eric Adams issued a statement of condolences to the family of Shatavia Walls, but stopped short of changing his narrative of confronting people peacefully.
“My heart goes out to the family of Shatavia Walls on this horrific incident. Gun violence has hurt too many innocent people in our city, from 1-year-old Davell Gardner to this dynamic young lady. Dangerous people are shooting innocent people for senseless reasons. I renew my call for cracking down on the scourge of illegal guns.
Our call is to continue building an ecosystem of public safety that includes community response and police. Whenever someone exhibits violence, we should call the police, but whenever we can communicate peacefully with our neighbors, we should do so.” Eric Adams
How do you know if an incident is going to be violent or not? He failed to remember his own words of June 21 about fireworks: “This is a nonviolent act.” It wasn’t for Ms. Walls.
That is why “defunding” police or abolishing them or using unarmed civilians in place of armed officers is a giant mistake. Any incident can turn violent in a split second. Mr Adams did not pull the trigger on this situation. It was not his fault. The blame for it lies squarely on the shoulders of the gangbanger who did it. But his mentality is what will get more unarmed civilians killed as they confront unknown situations. It’s not Mayberry out there.
Featured photo: Shatavia Walls photo from Facebook