Calls for justice in Brownsville for slain teen
Nayaba Arinde | 10/4/2018, midnight
Police arrested Aaron Nathaniel, 14, on Wednesday, Oct. 3 after press time. He is being charged with criminal use of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon.
Hundreds of teens, family and community members, elected officials, concerned parents and activists marched from Brooklyn Ascend Charter School in Brownsville and gathered in Chester Playground on Monday, Oct. 1, the very scene where two weeks ago, 16-year-old Oluwadurotimi Oyebola was shot in the head and died of the fatal head wound shortly afterward.
“The loss of my son to gun violence is a reflection of the society we are living in today,” said David Oyebola. “It is a reflection of some homes and some have failed in their job as parents. It is also a reflection of how degraded and low the value of human life has become. The kid who perpetrated this act was raised, mentored and guided by someone, somewhere.”
It was an emotional, heart-wrenching gathering, where politicians and police alike (embodied by Assistant Chief of the New York City Police Department Jeffrey Maddrey) implored the community to stop the gun violence. And among the honest testimonies and open tributes was the speech Assemblywoman Latrice Walker gave about how her brother was murdered when she was just a teen.
Councilwoman Alicka Ampry-Samuel also stated that she is of the community and feels the pain that they are currently enduring. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke decried how brilliant children on their way to being effective compassionate members of society are being snatched away by senseless violence. It was a moving vigil.
“There’s a cloud over this playground; the kids don’t come here no more to play ball. The only kids who come here are those who want to come and pay respects to Timi,” Angel Pabon said as he looked over at the memorial that he and his family created and continue to maintain in the corner of the playground, where Timi was killed as he played basketball after school with his friends. “Even at school in the morning they don’t have the kids lining up or the recess. Everything has stopped. The fact that the individual has not been caught—they are afraid that they’d be retaliation. There’s a darkness over here, no one wants to come here.”
The police department stated, “On Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, at approximately 1549 hours, police responded to a 911 call of a male shot at Chester Street and Sutter Avenue, within the confines of the 73 Precinct. Upon arrival officers found an unconscious and unresponsive 16-year-old male with a gunshot wound to the head. EMS also responded to the scene and transported the victim to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.”
Oyebola said it was a joy when his children joined him in New York from Nigeria five years ago. Now he is asking the questions, “Who killed my son? Where are they? Where are they getting these guns from?”
Oyebola said that young children around him are asking, “Does this mean we can no longer play in the park?”