BROOKLYN QUARTET

50ShotIn10Days

 

 On November 25th, 2006, Sean Bell and his friends were shot at, a total of 50 times by New York City police officers. The following people are representative of each of those 50 shots, and also of the humanity that exists inside of all of us, except... what sets these particular people apart from most of us... is that they either survived, or are survivors of the loss of a family member... to gun violence. We must never forget, that there are human beings, both behind, and in front, of every shot that is fired, meaning real life people, meaning mothers, brothers, sisters, girlfriends, children, fathers, cousins, best friends, husbands, wives, elders, etc, etc, and these 50 heroes are here to share their stories with all of us, so that we can get to know them, more personally, more intimately, so that they are not simply reduced to an "incident", for us to remember that they are actual, real human beings, just like the rest of us, and because I believe that if we really get a chance to know them, I mean, to REALLY know them, well.. I believe that this is the best way to love them, by knowing them, and I'm pretty sure that when you love somebody, I've gotta believe, with every ounce of my soul, and I'll say it again, that when you love somebody, I'm betting it's much more difficult to shoot somebody.

"Love is forever"-Queen, Brooklyn Quartet

 

Sean Bell

 

I knew the exact date Sean was to be born, May 18, 1983. I experienced no labor pains when Sean entered into this world thru cesarean delivery. However, I nearly crumbled beneath the weight of agony on November 25, 2006. The  day Sean was killed in a hail of 50 shots fired by New York City Police Officers.

Who is Sean to his mother, Valerie Bell?

 

Josue Eloi

 
Shoot to kill or shoot to maim? Which would you rather?
As you listen in your seats, please ponder on this matter.
My name is Josue Eloi. I was shot on Halloween, October 31, 1999.
My younger siblings ventured out for that holiday treat. "Those trick-or-treaters took too much candy" so the neighbors decided they should be beat.
5 Caucasions followed them waiving bats, yelling Nigg^*, bleep and bleep
When i heard of the violation as the eldest brother I stood to my feet.
But at the age of 17 my idea of protecting family was not in accordance to law.
I went back with a fake BB Gun, one that could be mistaken for.
Waiving making threats "i'll shoot, i'll shoot"
Hoping to instill the same fear that i saw in the youth.
I brought a knife to a gun fight, trespassing gives you the right to shoot!
That shotgun took my leg, a few inches higher would've been my life too.
Shoot to kill or shoot to maim, which would you rather?
Shoot to kill or shoot to maim, i'm alive, I prefer the latter!
Who is Josue in 2015?
 

Derrick Hurley

 

My name is Derrick Hurley, I was shot in 1996, sometime in November, I don't even remember the exact day.  I was the victim of a robbery in Queens, NY.  My story is a complex one, and a human one.

Who is Derrick today?

 

Kareem Nelson

 

My name is Kareem Nelson. I was shot on Father's Day, June 18th, 1995. I was in search of something far short of being the king I was born to be, and I paid the price!

Who is Kareem in 2015?

 

Wallace St. Clair

 

My name is Wallace St. Clair. Two people I knew were fighting. Then the cousin of one of them jumped in and they both began beating the guy with slats from a pallet, with nails protruding from it. I tried to speak some sense to them. I was saying that they were going to kill him. That somebody in the crowd was going to tell. They still wouldn't stop, so I snatched one of them up by the collar and forcefully shoved him away from the fray while trying to calm him down. Then the other cousin told the one I had, "let's go, I know what to do". Then they left. Once they were gone, the people in the crowd started saying they were going to get guns. That's when I told Mario, who was sitting in his car during the whole thing to take Kenny out of there. He did it. Couple of minutes later after I had turned the corner and was walking up the hill, a car skidded up to me. It was the cousins. They jumped out  and one of them started yelling, I told you to mind ya business, right? That's when he raised the 45 and tried to put it in my chest. I threw a combination at him. My left hand hit the gun and my right grazed his jaw. When I hit him the gun went off, l began to back peddle across the street and he kept shooting and didn't stop until I fell backwards. Neither of us knew it, but he had hit me in the ankle with the first shot. It was my ankle giving away that ultimately saved me. He thought one of the other shots dropped me.

Who is Saint in 2015?

 

Anthony Morris

 

Anthony Morris of Newark, NJ was shot in his chest multiple times due to an altercation with a gentleman walking up to him and starting an argument.  He was rushed to University Hospital and pronounced dead on November 20, 1992 two days before his 24th birthday.

Who is Anthony in 2015, to his sister, Lucy "War Cry" Warsaw?

 

Vernon 'Dyverse' Wooten

 

My name is Vernon 'Dyverse' Wooten and I was shot and paralyzed in the Bronx New York on Saturday July 13th 1991. It was my birthday. My 17th birthday in fact. A troubled teen living in the Staten Island group home, I was shot around 11:30 p.m. Very close to the time my mother said I was born. (I still don't know what that means) but yes taking a walk to the Chinese restaurant after a few games of 21 (not knowing that would be the last time I would ever dunk a basketball) I was shot in a drive by as I sat on a car tying my sneaker. I heard the car creep up although I was in such a great mood I didn't think much of it until I heard it slow down behind me. As I turned around to see all the members in the car I noticed the rear passenger had a gun aimed at me. Before I could turn around to take cover the gun went off striking me in the back with a 22 caliber bullet that lodged itself in my spine.

Who is Dyverse in 2015?

 

Cyd Charisse Fulton

 

This piece was written many moons ago.  Tragedy made me realize I cared about neighbors.  My struggle to maintain and raise my sons in a chaotic environment influenced my judgment.  I reached for a doorknob of blame to open salvation’s door.
-----------------------------------------
  1988. Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.  Marcy and Sumner Houses, bread. Tompkins projects, cheese.  Over 3000 residents squeeze in 8 buildings in excess of Myrtle, Park, Throop, and Tompkins Avenues.
  Hallway walls shine, but not floors. They streak sneaker marks from weed smokers and dice game players.  Blue metal exit doors squeak and slam; might be poh-leese, switch staircases -- scram.  Red elevators barely open.  Their steel bowels, constipated from brown blends of dried piss and an overload of tenants trying not to step in it.  Work, school, public assistance, daycare, and homecare, who cares?  In this haven of “peace god,” and “how you doin’ Miss B?” I raise three boys in apartment 12E.
  12E windows see both Bushwick bodegas and New York City high rises.  They scan tenements in Williamsburg where Jewish families landlord and reside.  These windows witness Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges perch the East River like London guards while all along the "Watchtower," Jehovah Witness real estate overlooks Brooklyn Bridge Park.
  My sons and I relish Tompkins’ ability to display tranquility during Saturday morning cereal. Denounce unemployed rages and gunshots.  Stages in my mind remain sane as I look for a reason, a season; blame.
  Dayjon.  24 year old street phenom, lives next door.  Fresh out of jail, he and his crew impale his non-English speaking mother’s authority with frailty.  Dayjon’s priorities are drugs, guns and “gettin some.”  Double parent in me warns him to stay away from my sons with that “come see me if ya need suntin” bullshit.  Nothing about his grin is legit.  Yet, I wish him freedom from historical degradation and his notorious reputation.
  Monday evening red elevator barely opens.  Stunned cop unsnaps gun.  Take it easy.  It’s just me.  12E is next door to apartment with floor of burgundy sea.  Cop question me, then tells me… lights out in exit.  Dayjon and a girl come home.  Key sticks lock.  Three guys from dark exit bum rush Dayjon.  Push him in apartment.  Girl runs to exit.  Pump shotgun penetrates back.  Lays her flat in staircase between 12th and 11th floors.  Dayjon, dead.  Bullet blasts off side of his head.  Burgundy sea Dayjon bled tells me, careful what you wish for.

Who is Cyd Charisse Fulton Today?

 

Raul K. Rios

 

My name is Raul K. Rios, I was shot on Nov 11th 1977, 37 yrs ago, and gratefully survived. Although I was a victim, I was also a perpetrator, in that I made a poor choice that day. I was part of an armed robbery, at the age of 15, in Sunset Park Bklyn. I have since paid my debt to society, and dedicated the rest of my life to serving others.

Who is Raul in 2015?