The killing of innocence

By Steve Talley

The Black community has become immune to the violence and killings. “Hey, did you hear about that drive-by the other day?” We hear daily. “A Crip killed a Blood over the death of another Blood.”

This is a common occurrence that most people in the black community thinks so little of… this slaughter that we see and feel are victims of gang violence, so they got what they deserved. But, when an innocent child is caught-up in this mayhem, we deplore the killing of innocence hoping our children will be safe.

It’s always a relief when it’s someone else’s loss, but who knows when your time will come?

This is how most people in Chattanooga felt about Deontrey Southers, the young 13-year-old East Lake Academy student who was shot and killed when shots were fired inside his home. While he was not the intended victim his death, nonetheless, made it hard to digest the senseless killings of the rest.

While he was not unfamiliar with violence and death, that takes, his cousin, Jermaine "Soldier" Southers, 24, was a gang member who got shot in the face and killed at East Lake Courts in 2008. It was described as just another gang retaliated killing.  “So, who gave a damn?”

His cousin was the intended victim, and he perhaps cried at his funeral like we will be crying at his. Family members said they believe the shots last week were intended for someone else.  But, who in his family is willing to take his place on the cooling board of John P. Franklin Funeral Home? No one I suspect since life is so precious while we’re alive.

His future was taken at an early age and his hopes are gone; he was a linebacker for his school football and very well known — knowing the other players on the team will miss his number when it’s gone.

He attended Refuge Baptist Church where his funeral will be held.  Being actively involved with ’Gear Up and the Goodwill Youth mentoring program ’ meant his life, now gone, was on the right track. Alas, that track now leads to a cold grave that belonged to someone else.

His mother, father, other family members and friends survive him, which was in time too soon, and Pastor Sean Landers will be officiating his unfortunate end or doom.  Parents are not suppose to bury their children is a common thing to say, but parents are burying their children in the black community each and every day.

Funeral services will be at 11 A.M on Monday, and I hope the weather won’t be as cold as I feel since the murderer is still on the loose to kill again. I so lament Deontrey sorrowful and sad end, the killing of innocence is the worse kind of sin.


Steve Talley is a junior majoring in accounting at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC)



Home Page