75 Murders in Newark! The Last Victim is 16 Years of Age and No One Cares!

Are we crying still? Are we again outraged? Do we even still care? In July of 2007, 3 promising college students were gunned down behind Mount Vernon in the Vailsburg section of Newark, NJ. A part of town where ghastly murders usually do not occur. As a city we got angry, cried and rallied against violent crime and even called for the resignation of the mayor, because his promise of making Newark a safer city has not yet materialized. We thought Iofemi Hightower, Dashawn Harvey, and Terrance Aeriel would be the wake-up call. Yet, two months later we’ve experience 15 more murders and at least 3 of the victims have been under 21-years-of-age.

Marquis Shoulders, a student at Westside High School, who many said was good kid, had his life ended after an argument with someone in a car that pulled up on the street where he stood, in front of a middle school in the Vailsburg section. But what is so much colder than the way in which he was killed, is the aftermath of his death. There are no protests down town on the steps of city hall. There are no calls for the mayor’s resignation. There is no increase in county or state police presence. No one is crying any more. No one is angry. Newark has fallen back into its complacent feeling about violence, and has once again come to accept that murder is simply apart of our lives.

I remember talking to someone during a conference in March, in Minneapolis Minnesota with someone who was from Chicago. He asked me, “is it that bad in Newark”, and I replied without hesitation, “yes”. Someone who was with me, who is an older guy who loves Newark, and never likes to speak about it in a negative light, sounded much like Police Director Gary McCarthy. He replied by saying, “that its not random killings and little children, but its gang members, drug dealers; people who are involved in crime”. However, my assertions and beliefs have been validated all year. And that is that bullets have no names, crime is random in Newark, and much of the city is in chaos. An 8 year was shot, a 3 year old, a 70 year old woman, the 3 gruesome murders behind Mt. Vernon, the 20 year old on Elizabeth Avenue and Meeker Street, the 16 year old boy on Pennington Street, the man who was killed by his son, the man shot to death on Smith Street the same weekend as the Mount Vernon incident, and the woman who was stabbed to death by her step son. There are so many being shot and killed and its a shame that I can name this many instances without looking into the newspaper, or knowing any of the inviduals personally. Many of these individuals weren’t involved in violence, or drugs, or gangs, or general crime, but they live in a city where they struggle and simple disputes turn deadly, as quickly as the second-hand on a clock turns.

My hope is that someone sees the light, and politicians stop making heavy handed speeches about what it is that they’re going to do and speak honestly to people. The honesty should be that without the help of the community at large, nothing will take shape. Not to mention, in one term as mayor, Cory Booker couldn’t hope to stem the tide that has been rising murder for the past 5 years. With 3 months left in the year, we could easily see 105 murders again this year. How do we make sure that doesn’t happen?

23 thoughts on “75 Murders in Newark! The Last Victim is 16 Years of Age and No One Cares!

  1. Tabitha

    Newark is getting more and more terrible by the day! It can’t only be Cory Booker trying to do something about everything that goes on. For christ sake Newark residents give this man a hand! And Newark police, do you want to actually start taking action? People are dieing left & right day in and day out and it’s sickening!

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  2. Ameer Washington

    The 76th murder occured this Sunday night on Shephard Avenue in the South District. Last year there were 79 murders at this time. We’re 3 better than last year, but this year isn’t over.

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  3. danc

    The only way this wave of violence can be stop. Is for more of the people of Newark get invold. People do what you will allow them to.

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  4. Rickie

    Newark has become a Hell Hole that is as bad as or worse than Detroit. Nothing will change as long as the people sit by and do not take part in correcting the problems.Stop listening to the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and pay more attention to leaders who have YOUR interest at heart,not Their own agenda.Organize citizen groups in your neighborhoods and patrol with the police.Expose the drug sellers and gangsters.Nothing makes you weaker and the evil ones stronger than a code of silence.If you remain silent you are just as responsible for the murders as the evil ones who pull the trigger.

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  5. Councilman Ron Rice

    Some of us are still working to get the community invloved to take back our streets, whether the media prints it or not. And we do it without a whole lot of real participation from the main people in our community protesting the problems.

    My West Ward Collective, organized since October of 2006, continnues to meet and organize our ward to tackle issues dealing with recreation, education, youth, arts and culture, etc. We are meeting again for our 10th monthly meeting (meetings are every first Saturday of the month from 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon) this Saturday at the Sacred Heart School Cafeteria on the corner of Hazelwood and Sandford Avenues. I encourage all West Ward residents that are serious about being the change they want to see in the community to come out and help us elected officials provide the services and programs we have the responsibility for creating the infrastructure, organization, and funding for, all of which I am and will do with the Collective.

    Also, every third Saturday of the month is the monthly meeting of the West Ward Brother’s Club from 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon at Renaissance Church, located at 400 7th Avenue, just off of Rosevill Avenue. We NEED MEN to “man up” and be the coaches, tutors, mentors, and, crossing guards, scout leaders, and security patrol leaders our community needs. We even serve breakfast.

    We need more doers and less complainers, less community meetings, and less blaming, it is all head hands on deck that does not ebb and flow everytime there is a tragedy in our community, but sustained over the long haul. Government alone cannot and will not save our communities, only THE Commmunity can save itself with government playing its role.

    For more information or to join the West Ward Collective or West Ward Brother’s Club, please call (973) 733-6427. To all West Ward residents, I need you and I am not too ashamed to beg for the help I need to save our community. But you should not be so obstinate in diagnosing the problem that you will not roll up your sleeves to make the change needed yourself, alongside all of us working to make change.

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  6. Sorry for Previous Typos

    Some of us are still working to get the community involved to take back our streets, whether the media prints it or not. And we do it without a whole lot of real participation from the main people in our community protesting the problems.

    My West Ward Collective, organized since October of 2006, continues to meet and organize our ward to tackle issues dealing with recreation, education, youth, arts and culture, etc. We are meeting again for our 10th monthly meeting (meetings are every first Saturday of the month from 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon) this Saturday at the Sacred Heart School Cafeteria on the corner of Hazelwood and Sandford Avenues. I encourage all West Ward residents that are serious about being the change they want to see in the community to come out and help us elected officials provide the services and programs we have the responsibility for creating the infrastructure, organization, and funding to solve, all of which I am and will do with the Collective.

    Also, every third Saturday of the month is the monthly meeting of the West Ward Brother’s Club from 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon at Renaissance Church, located at 400 7th Avenue, just off of Roseville Avenue. We NEED MEN to “man up” and be the coaches, tutors, mentors, and, crossing guards, scout leaders, and security patrol leaders our community needs. We even serve breakfast.

    We need more doers and less complainers, less community meetings, and less blaming, it is all hands on deck and we need a commitment that does not ebb and flow every time there is a tragedy in our community, but a sustained movement over the long haul. Government alone cannot and will not save our communities, only THE Commmunity can save itself with government playing its role.

    For more information or to join the West Ward Collective or West Ward Brother’s Club, please call (973) 733-6427. To all West Ward residents, I need you and I am not too ashamed to beg for the help I need to save our community. But you should not be so obstinate in diagnosing the problem that you will not roll up your sleeves to make the change needed yourself, alongside all of us working to make change.

    Reply
  7. EAS

    I don’t know about Newark being a Detroit (300 murders), but the city still indeed faces problems. The safer areas need to expand their influence and I think the gunshot detection systems/cameras should add significantly to security. This, of course, is not a solution, but it IS a start. I seriously believe the state should allow more State Troopers to augment NPD

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  8. danc

    In response to Msj200o

    Newark is not hell; it’s a city that just need the people to take charge of their streets. It you want to make jokes please take a look at yourself. Have you done anything to make things better or are you just sitting around sucking in air.

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  9. Lidia

    Mr. Booker and Mr. McCarthy only acted on the call of the MEDIA attention received due to the unfortunate murders of three wonderful college students. Where are they now and what have they done about the other unsolved murders in Newark? They need to stop comparing the murder count and start redirecting their police department. They have made wrongful arrest due to poor investigation improper police work, failure to follow up with any leads and that’s why the rate just keeps going up and there are so many unsolved murders in Newark?

    Had it not been all the attention on the three students, they would also be forgotten!

    The demand must stand on the Mayor he can make the difference and the results are there, he reacted under demand and hopefully they have the cold-blooded murderers of the innocent young students.

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  10. EAS

    The Mayor himself cannot make the difference. The community must get involved as a few people stated earlier. Let’s not forget the long-term crime that has plagued Newark, it did not happen overnight. However, I think the mayor should not have initially promised to lower crime rates significantly because that ain’t easy.

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  11. Donna

    Lidia, you cannot be serious. Everyone cares about the death of Marquis Shoulders, the same way that they cared about those three college kids recently murdered. You can tell by the everyday things that churches, neighborhood groups and public officials are doing to stem the tide of juvenile waywardness and give young people the sorts of prospects and direction that will discourage theft and violence. I’ve got news for you: The same Donna Jackson who got up on the steps of City Hall and very loudly (and inappropriately) called for Booker to “pack his bags” is now working with the mayor on a couple of initiatives to improve the lives of young people. You don’t have to like the mayor or agree with him on everything, but try not to get on the WORLD WIDE WEB and plaster irresponsible, outrageous statements like:

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    Newark will change when WE change. In the meantime, it is not all up to the mayor to take personal responsibility for our shortcomings as a community.

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  12. Msj2000

    Danc, you can secure the arena and downtown area during business hours and events. After dark when the business community leaves the downtown area you are on your own. I may be wrong, after all I didn’t think that the “Stop the killings in Newark now!” billboards would work. The killings stopped….oh wait no they didn’t. Maybe welcome to Hell home of the devils, more murders than goals!

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  13. danc

    So what are you doing to make the city better? If you aren’t trying to fix the situation, you are part of the problem

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  14. Vonnie

    I grew up in Newark and Irvington and right now I’m serving in Iraq for a year and it hurts me to know that our community is falling to pieces. We live in a country with endless opportunities and it’s a shame our youth is wasting them. Yes i can say I moved out of Newark with my child out of fear. As a single parent with a young boy we got asked why was my son wearing “red” or what does that “red” stand for! Mind you my child was 3 at the time! Drugs and gangs are taking over Newark and it’s overwhelming. You can get a gun quicker than getting a credit card. And no I don’t feel as though all the weight should be put on the Mayor. It’s our community, that’s we live and if we condone the behavior that’s going on how can we complain about things not changing. We have to do it together! I love Newark and after this deployment i will return to help fight the battle. As I child I had a ball growing up in Newark and I want my son to have the same. You have no right to complain if you not doing anything to change the situation. If you could see the way Iraqi’s live maybe our people won’t be so ungreatful!

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  15. Paul

    It seems as though nothing has changed since I left there in 1988, except maybe the situation has gotten more desperate and out of control. People need jobs, hope and God in thier lives. Once you give in to the criminals, there’s no turning back. They’re nothing but blood sucking leeches who need to be quarantined until they come to their senses. Newark sucks and will continue to suck until the “Silent Majority” rises from their long sleep and decide to remove these parasites from their midst.

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  16. Aminah K. Muhammad

    My name is Ms. Aminah K. Muhammad and I have been a Newark resident for 43 years. I am the mother of 16-year old Marquis Shoulders, the 75th victim that was murdered which took place on Sept. 28, 2007. To-date, my son’s case HAS NOT YET BEEN RESOLVED. This tragedy took place in Newark on Richelieu Terrace, in front of Lincoln Elementary School. I have minimal to no information pertaining to and or a lead re: this case. I am asking for the community to get involved as well as Mayor Cory Booker, who attended my son’s Janaaza, Councilman Rice Jr. who reached out with condolescences and the prosecutor’s office who just left the case incomplete. I am another decent parent whose son was a victim of violent crime. I feel that my son’s case should be treated as important as the other murders that took place in Newark. This has left my entire family in total distraught and will take years of recovery. If an effort was put forth in the investigation and or a closure to my son’s case, then my son can rest in peace and my family and I can begin the road of recovery. Please, I’m asking for help in solving my son’s case. TOGETHER, LETS TAKE BACK THE CITY OF NEWARK AND PUT A STOP TO THE VIOLENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Please feel free to e-mail me at aminahm25@yahoo.com

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  17. sha

    it’s been so long ago since my uncle was gunned down in newark,it has taken me so long to get to where I am, in regards to healing…. To this day I am still very angry and hostile towards everyone. When someone is violently taken away it takes the life out of the loved especially when it goes unsolved and police quit looking for leads to find out who did it and why?IT COULD be the person you knew as a friend it could even be the jealous fool down the block… When you dont know EVERYONE is suspect… I cant bare to even look a uncle’s picture it took so much…. I was angry with him and he didnt even know, I know this isnt what this for but I need to vent, family dont know how i feel so it feels little better to air my feelings out…. I promise,The SUPREME BEING (GOD)has concealed this from me and the family from the truth for a reason, because if I knew……………… I gotta go, I’M PISSED JUST THINKING ABOUT THIS!!!!!!!!!!!

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  18. kevin

    said days when we look at premeditated death and think it is okay or think “another one bites the dust”. I don’t believe in the death penalty no matter if i am a family member of a victim or not. Who am i to judge – who are you to also.

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  19. Debbie Clark

    I moved from Jersey to Chicago several years ago. I lost contact with a friend of mine that I went to school with. I heard he was murdered about two years ago. If anyone have info on this please send it to me. His name is/was Wintson Givens. All I know is he lived in Newark

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  20. Debbie Clark

    I’m still waiting for any info on the death of Winston Givens. He would have been between the ages of 47-50 and resided in Essex County. I was told he was gunned down in Newark in either 06 or 07,

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  21. Linda

    Newark is indeed a beautiful place with lots of beautiful people. Unfortunately we have a great number of second generation young adults that grew up unloved and misguided in addition to those loved but with addictive parents/guardians who did not have time and who loved their drug more. The majority of these young people were never taught to respect life so we are paying the price of knowing there will be another and another until they are all rounded up and institutionalized and given intense therapy, love, and assistance in finding their real worth and purpose. Each one that is caught doing a crime should have to live and work on a farm for a minimum of 10 years and then be required to do some humanity service for another 5 years. And during all this time they must attend school as well. There are so many laws to protect children, but I think most of them did not get protected by these laws instead they were left unguarded and not exposed to the things that would have taught them to be good law abiding, productive citizens. Our busy society watched as they turned into savages for their own survival. It’s like having wild dogs roaming neighborhoods but not foaming at the mouth or in packs, just roaming around, but looking docile and in just seconds change to being vicious and attacking.
    On Bergen St., not far from Home Depot while sitting at a light in the early afternoon I saw a young man walk to the corner raise his arm and start shooting across the street (I think at a car that sped away). I was so shocked it took a few minutes before I could find my cell phone and dial 9ll. A few feet away from the gunman people were getting off the bus and acting as nothing unusual was happening.
    Last week there was a shooting in a bodega on Lyons Avenue, near Leslie Street and a couple days before a shooting in front of a bodega on chancellor Avenue, near Leslie Street. As the young people started school this week as these events did not appear in the Star Ledger or on the news the parents that dressed up their kids for the 1st day of school and purchased all the supplies needed for them to have a good start, have no idea that 1 or 2 blocks from where they send their kids to school is like a war zone. A lady got punched in her face while setting at a light down town Newark, although she police responded to the incident it was not in the paper or on the news. I use to drive with my window half-way up. Now I keep them up especially when I am stop for a light.
    It’s important for communities to hear about the crimes. A Florida newspaper actually has a section that cites every crime in the police reports as well as those reported by citizens not reported to police. A lot of people think “not in my neighborhood”, oh I did not hear about it. Well it is in your neighborhood and you need to hear, get involved and do something.
    As a little girl growing up in Newark on our block we had a police officer called Mr. Mike, I think all Mr. Mike had to do was drank coffee and walk his beat. I liked Mr. Mike and felt he was really there to serve and protect me. I think most in the neighborhood felt the same way. The people in the neighborhood I grew up in would have protected Mr. Mike had he needed it because they knew he was there to serve and protect them.
    It would be a good thing if Newark had more neighborhood police to walk the beat and live in the neighborhoods they vow to serve and protect. These officers would learn that the“yums” are really yams that need to be pulled from the ground, dried out to sweeten and be prepared to serve. There is a community of good farm workers available to help them pull the “yums” from the community grounds.

    Reply

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