Final Counts, Final Breaths

This blog is usually “just the facts” — dates, names, ages, location of incident — along with some resources for those seeking to address violence in the District and beyond. As this year’s catalog of loss closes, though, here are a few thoughts, “Over City Streets” (easily shareable JPEG and text version below). We can celebrate and build on organizing progress, particularly around gun violence, but we continue to mourn for too many without a plan for addressing peace, justice, and healing.

The 2016 Archive of Loss is composed of 140 names. (The official MPD homicide count is slightly lower and still being updated, with a homicide on 12/31). We lost 108 individuals to gun violence, with far more residents, including many children, injured and traumatized by shootings. We lost five individuals to officer-involved shootings, including four MPD and one Metro Police incidents.

Visit @DChomicideCount for breakdown by race, ward, etc, and see Washington Post Year-End Review for a regional view.

May 2017 bring renewed commitment to bringing an end to conditions which result in violence. Those who love the District will have a great deal of work to do, it seems, as so many protections for the most vulnerable among us are at risk in the new political climate.

REMINDER: Say This Name’s listing of homicides in the District of Columbia is meant to help District residents and others who care about the city mark each loss to homicide. The weekly postings are designed with houses of worship, who wish to include these losses in their weekend prayers, in mind. More a bit more background, see “About” link.


“Over City Streets”

Over city streets
last breaths of pain and fear, of desolation
gather, accusing the living
of all the peace not sowed,
all the justice not pursued,
the healing still to do

Final breaths
from every Tricia who planted seeds for all to enjoy,
from every Moe who sought to stop retaliations,
from every individual whose end came through violence
fill the air we share, pressing:
Will we inhale these precious molecules, fueling
transformation in the name of the lost,
infusing our blood to act for change overdue?
Or will they drop, unheeded
like more lead,
sent to crush us all?

–December 30, 2106 in honor of
Maurice Moe Benton, former Peaceoholic & nephew of Ronald Moten,
and Tricia McCauley, teacher to many
and the too many lost to violence
in Washington DC and around the world



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