Scenes from the aftermath in Oakland:
stories of victims, survivors and healers.

Monday, January 20, 2014

"What else can a mother take?"

UPDATE: No longer a rumor.

For now it's a rumor. But I have it from a very strong source that one of the victims in Sunday's double homicide in East Oakland was the older brother of the city's first homicide of 2014. Last Wednesday, I went to the viewing for 13-year-old Lee Weathersby III, who was shot on New Year's Eve, who died on New Year's Day. It was a 4-hour wake, so people were coming and going. Young people were gathered outside the funeral home on Telegraph quietly talking. Others would walk up, say a quick hello to anyone they knew, then head inside to pay their respects to the mother, and to the spirit of the murdered 13-year-old, dapper in a white coffin, wearing a white cap and white bow tie and blue shirt. Two or three people at a time stood over him, some weeping, some praying, some just staring, slowly shaking their heads in despair. Funeral home workers came and went. Out on both corners of 36th and Telegraph, white-jacketed Oakland Unite violence prevention guys, our Interrupters, mostly young Latino and African-American men, some of whom had been in trouble in their pasts, many of whom have been shot at least once, stood a quiet, non-violent guard. There had been talk, I guess, that the 13-year-old, had been mistaken for his older brother. Someone said the kid had been shot 15 times. Someone else said 28. The community was worried that the killer might show up at the wake, looking for his rumored original target, Lee's brother. But either they were wrong, or the presence of about a dozen Oakland Unite intervention specialists deterred that bloody quest. The next day, Lee's funeral went off peacefully. Then, three days after the funeral, on Sunday afternoon, I got a text:  
Jim, the 13 year old's brother was killed today. What else can a mother take? 
Or a city.

Read about Jimon Clark, another 13-year-old, killed in Oakland in 2010  - "13"

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