The young man you see in this picture---John Lewis---might not be with us much longer. Sadly, there is a pretty good chance he will end up on the receiving end of a police officer's bullet, or he will become the property of the state of Pennsylvania for the rest of his natural life.
You see, the young man in the picture allegedly shot a Philadelphia police officer to death while he was robbing a donut store. And right now there is a massive man-hunt here in Killadelphia to bring him in. The Police Commissioner was all over the television earlier today ominously telling this young man to turn himself in before it's too late. There was also a number of his family members pleading for him do the same. They do it, because they too know what often happens to alleged cop killers in the end.
So I watched the news coverage today, and along with the Commissioner, there was this young man's grandmother, his aunts, his mother, and his neighbors; all pleading for the young man to call them, and to turn himself in to the police. His grandmother was actually crying and pleading with him to call her. She lamented about his life and how he loves to eat, and what a good kid he is. (Aren't they always) Then she spoke about how she had taken him job hunting just days ago, and how he was actually working on his GED after dropping out of high school. (Don't they always)
But this story is sad on so many levels that I don't even know where to begin. On the one hand, there is that poor police officer and his family who lost a father and a husband. Then there is the family of this alleged killer, and the pain they are going to have to go through. (His mother is actually a corrections officer) And finally, there is the three month old child he just fathered, what is going to happen to that little soul ? A child who will more than likely never see her father free or alive again. (Not that she would have seen him that much anyway)
Another thing that bothers me about this story, is that I saw no father, no uncle, or no grandfather pleading with this young man to call home. None! Why is that? Where is this alleged killer's father or male role model in his life? Honestly, I don't even know why I am asking, because I know you all know the answer to that.
This episode bothers me, because I have defended young men like this one before in criminal cases. And I can count the number of times on one hand that there was a father present when I talked to the family of an accused. Every time I think of what this young man allegedly did I shudder. The cold calculating way that he allegedly executed that cop, and the nerve he showed to go back and pick up the cop's service revolver after that unspeakable act. No remorse, no feelings, nothing. Just an empty cold heart cultivated by a life on the streets.
I have grown numb to all the killings now, and I have been in the belly of this beast a time or two. But when someone executes someone who is paid to protect me, it's definitely a cause for me to pause.
I know one thing, if this young man's father is absent, and if he was just another sperm donor who made a deposit and rolled; he deserves the same fate as whatever befalls this young man. Because If he did pull the trigger that killed that cop, they might as well have pulled it together.