I didn’t know Donysha Stovall, 28, her daughter Clarisma Torrey, 9, her son Nate Davis, 4, or her boyfriend’s son Shaquille Davis, 16. On the night of Oct. 26, just before 10 p.m., shots were fired in the 300 block of west 151st place. When police arrived, they found Shaquille already dead at the scene. Donysha and Clarisma were declared dead at the hospital and Nate, his body filled with six to seven bullets, somehow managed to survive and is said to be expected to recover.
Everyday since the shooting, I have diligently searched the internet for updated information about the case. Two days after the crime took place, the only news available was that three suspects had been arrested in connection to the crime. But to date, their names, ages, race, sex, relationship to the victims and any other pertinent information has not been disclosed.
Black Leadership (what an oxymoron!) has been missing in action. I haven’t seen or heard from any of the usual suspects denouncing this crime. There is something so intrinsically wrong in a society when a 4-year-old can be shot six to seven times and not a peep of public outcry occurs! No Rev. Jesse Jackson at the scene. No Father Pfleger leading a prayer vigil. No community activists, no columns from the daily newspaper columnists, no inquiring stories from the downtown television media, no rally by black preachers.
Well the lack of response may be from Nate, the 4-year-old, surviving. As such, his being shot is just paltry news. But what about Clarisma? She was just 9 years old. A fourth grader, learning to do long math, enjoying riding her bike, and anticipating what she wanted to be for Halloween. What would cause someone to shoot that little girl in the face? What kind of animals are the three that have been arrested for the crime? Who are they, and their family members too? Don’t we as a society need to know the kind of person who believes he or she can shoot children with impunity?
I got to learn a lot about Donysha Stovall after her death. I went to her Facebook page and read every single post she wrote. When she entered her bio she said, “I am a crazy, sexy, cool person easy to get along with. I am also a hard worker, loves life, and family.” I am haunted by the image of her smiling profile picture. Her eyes are so alive and she emitted life in the glow from her smile.
I weep tears for a young mother who was doing her best to raise her children. One of Donysha’s earliest posts lets everyone know the kind of mother she was. She wrote, “At home having family time me and my daughter cooked dinner together now we are baking cookies.” Or there was the other post about her son that is too long to post verbatim, but it basically had him asking her not to pick him up from the daycare by blowing the horn but to come inside and look for him like the other mother does for her son.
I was only able to find scant information about Shaquille Davis. I heard over the radio that he was buried without fanfare last week. It is also interesting to read that Shaquille had recently been released from the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. I wrote several columns about that facility earlier this year. The men who work there have been alleging that the violence occurring on the streets amongst our young people is being fueled by what is going on at that juvenile detention center. Is that the reason the major news media has dropped the reporting on these murders?
What I do know is that there was a time when we lamented about the weekly killings in the black community. Now the mayhem going on is at the point where we can say hourly shootings. And although Donysha, Clarisma, and Shaquille were murdered in Harvey, what goes on there also goes on within the city of Chicago’s limits.
I know I cannot be the only one still angered and burdened by the ongoing violence in the black community. Talk is cheap and action speaks louder. I stand always ready to answer the call for action. What about you?