Sunday, August 22, 2010

7 of 8 City Grill victims had criminal past

The Buffalo News released this information today about the victims of the City Grill shooter:

Eight young people who grew up on Buffalo's streets were gunned down in a hail of bullets last weekend outside City Grill downtown, four of them fatally.

And arrest and conviction records.
Their records indicating past or present associations with crime begets a certain lifestyle risk, law enforcement and criminology experts say.

We don't need law enforcement or criminology experts to tell us that. The picture the families gave the news showed guys in their 30s flashing gang symbols. Nothing should be done to punish City Grill. These were criminals and shootings are one of the things criminals do. The news also pointed out:

-One of the dead victims was on probation and forbidden from being inside any establishment serving alcohol.
-Two of the eight who were shot served state prison time on weapons or assault charges.
-Five are convicted felons.
-Six have been arrested by Buffalo police since 2008.

The scary part is that these guys were all out downtown to begin with. You, I, or one of your loved ones could easily have been downtown around City Grill and crossed paths with these people. Of course, now that the victims were shot, area leaders are describing them as saints:

"Because they had one, two arrests, it caused them to be slaughtered? That's just really ridiculous," said Arlee Daniels Jr., chairman of the Stop the Violence Coalition. "You show me a man on the face of the earth who never sinned."

"Which one of us growing up was Mother Teresa, other than Mother Teresa?" asked the Rev. Kinzer Pointer, who knew several of the victims and their families. "To paint everyone with a brush that their lifestyle led to this? Give me a break."

I hate to tell Daniels and Pointer this but the people I know have not been arrested for assault and do not carry loaded firearms around with them. Look at a few examples from this case:

Robbs was sentenced to prison in 2001 after he shot at another man but missed and shot an innocent bystander, a 51-year-old woman, in the ankle. Shortly after the shooting, an eyewitness led police to where Robbs was playing basketball.

Tiffany Wilhite, 31, who was killed in the massacre outside City Grill, was serving a five-year sentence of probation for felony reckless endangerment in connection with a January 2009 fight outside a Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood bar where she used her Jeep Cherokee to run down four women, breaking one of the victim's pelvis in four places.

Willie R. McCaa III, 26, who was also killed, had survived a March 2008 shooting outside an East Side store. He was scheduled for trial last week in State Supreme Court on charges he and another man robbed a man at gunpoint in May 2008 at Kensington Avenue and Godfrey Street.

These were people with criminal records who lived a dangerous lifestyle. Should they have been shot to death? No. Is it unfortunate? Yes. Should we be surprised it happened based on their lifestyle choices? No.

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