Tyshawn Lee | Photo: Karle Lee

Social Media in my humble opinion is an excellent indicator of the mindset of the black community. Some issues, no matter how much they are posted, generate zero to barely a moment’s interest; while other issues cause people who are extremely left-wing to tilt towards the right as their pent-up frustrations are tested to the nth degree. Such has been happening this past week concerning the case of Tyshawn Lee. 

Unless you’ve been in a coma, you know about the 9 year-old child who was executed gangland-style on Monday, Nov. 2, around 4:15 p.m.  According to his father, Pierre Stokes (aka Wooh Gotti), 25, the boy was shot seven times in the back and head. The police quickly let the world know that the boy had been lured into the alley by his executioners. They also attributed the motive to retribution for something the father did. But it’s what happens next that, had it been a screenplay for a movie, would have had black folks screaming ‘racism’ at the top of their lungs.

When the father’s alleged gang membership connection emerged as a potential reason for his son’s murder, a video began circulating featuring the mother, Karla Lee, 26. In it, she is seen twerking in a red whirlpool tub. Then there is the picture people found of her holding a gun to her mouth like she was blowing the smoke from it. The social media criticism to these developments was hot and heavy, with the majority of people defending her. The TV news that night showed her friends supporting her and the next day we learned that she had spent the night by the memorial, on the side of the garage where her son was killed — so traumatized that she had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital.

The day after her son was murdered, we learned that the family doesn’t have money for a funeral.  People begin posting about how funeral homes will conduct a free burial, how the city has a fund to help pay for funerals and how Father Pfleger is spearheading a reward fund and offering his church to hold the funeral.  

Someone established a GoFundMe account and says that it is to help the mother bury her son. On Tuesday, Nov. 3, fresh from her hospital stay, Karla posted a video in which she thanks people for supporting the GoFundMe page. In retrospect, it was to lure people to go there and contribute.

Truthfully, so much is starting to happen that the chronological order gets confusing. The police raided the father’s apartment where he and his girlfriend and several other friends were holding a pizza and reefer party.

The police claim that the father is being uncooperative and that he is a member of the Killa Ward faction of the Gangster Disciples, while the potential murderers of his son are from the Terror Dome fraction of the Black P Stone Nation. (Side note: I highly recommend seeing the movie “The Terror Dome,” because the first five minutes will give you a perspective on why the name has such meaning.)

By Thursday, Nov 5, the reward money was increasing and offers were being made to relocate any witnesses out of Chicago if they come forward. A lot of the arguments on FaceBook are centered around the movie “Chi-Raq.” I never liked the name, because I felt young people would feel obligated to live down to it. But I digress.

Karla Lee was denying any gang ties in her family. By Friday, Nov. 6, social media was aghast that a child had been assassinated to pay for the sins of his father. Then the weekend came and all hell broke loose. The mother was reported to have bought a car using the proceeds of the fund that was meant to bury her baby. She released a profanity laced tirade defending her decision, telling everyone that it was her money and she can do what she pleases with it. Some folks who gave money were asking for it back. A march to find the killers was held on Saturday, but no one from the family came out.

Later that evening, the garage where the makeshift memorial to Tyshawn was created mysteriously burned down and the charred remains showed a conveniently empty structure.  A photo of Tyshawn throwing gang signs had also begun circulating.  And the boy had yet to be buried!

His funeral will be on Tuesday, but this column is written on Monday. Next week I will give some further insights.

3 replies on “R.I.P. Tyshawn Lee”