West Seattle Crime Watch followup: RapidRide robber sentenced as judge says, ‘You terrorized these people’

May 30, 2014 at 4:16 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 52 Comments

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

In the second of two back-to-back sentencings involving high-profile West Seattle cases, King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer has just sentenced 19-year-old Trevonnte Brown, whose robbery spree aboard a RapidRide bus in Morgan Junction last November ended when passengers grabbed and tackled him.

Brown was sentenced to the recommended 13 1/2 years total – 8 1/2 for the robberies, 5 mandatory years for using a gun – not only for the bus robberies that night but also for another robbery on board a Metro bus earlier that month (not in West Seattle). And prosecutor Alex Voorhees noted that the defendant had told police that he participated in “numerous” strong-arm robberies.

Over the objection of the defense lawyer, she played the video of the bus holdup for the judge, from the moment it showed Brown rising from his seat and pointing his gun at people to demand their phones, to the pileup that followed, restraining Brown and taking away his gun, after one of the victims, Casey Borgen, grabbed his arm. The video continued to roll as a woman called 911, with at least three men keeping Brown down, who could be heard yelling that they were hurting him. A shorter form of the video was shown on citywide TV last year, including this KING5.com clip:

The video continued rolling in court until the point where police entered the bus. They were heard to call the guys who restrained Brown as heroes; Voorhees pointed out that Brown continued acting “abusive(ly)” as he was taken away, including doing damage to a police car. (pleaded guilty last month.)

Voorhees mentioned that Brown had confessed but that she was struck “by the lack of remorse” shown by Brown, who she says told investigators he had been “committing robberies since high school … he acknowledged that these three incidents we have before the court today are by no means the first foray … (though perhaps) the most extreme” because he used a gun.

She said he talked about procuring the gun, about his victims and how they looked as he robbed them, and said this was how he got income because he had trouble holding a job (at one job, she said, he had stolen from his co-workers). She said he was asked if he felt bad about his victims and said no, also saying he had their lives in his hands. “He created an absolute scene of havoc on that bus.”

None of the victims came to court to speak, with at least one citing fear, said the prosecutor. Nor did any of the men involved in the takedown came to court – not out of fear, Voorhees suggested, but “because they are at work, and have moved on with their lives.” She then said everyone on the bus was a victim, perhaps thinking twice about getting on a bus again, making themselves vulnerable. As part of the no-contact orders that usually accompany sentences, she asked that he be barred from contact with King County Metro, to “never be allowed to ride the bus again.”

Speaking on behalf of the defendant, first, was his brother, saying his family “are all apologetic for the choice he made.”

“You’re not at fault for that,” noted Judge Shaffer.

The brother acknowledged that but went on to say that the family is sorry that people were traumatized by his brother’s actions. He then was speaking more to his brother than to the judge, advising him to stay positive and hold his head high and to be “a better person when you come out.”

His 17-year-old sister spoke next: “The person you see on the video is not my brother.” Next, his aunt spoke, saying she believes he “has taken full responsibility. … he made some terrible decisions, terrible choices … but he is a good child overall. … he is very remorseful now, and even if he wasn’t looking at this much time, he would be remorseful.” She was followed by his great-aunt, saying, “he’s never been in trouble, and when I heard the incident that happened, it really shocked me …” She spoke of being helped by him in times of family difficulties years ago, and of going to church with him, and wondering if perhaps drugs or coercion led him down the path. “I’m not making excuses for him, everyone has to pay for what they do, but …” she felt the prospective sentence was excessive. “… I hope he learns from this, and I know he will.”

And then, Judge Shaffer heard from Brown’s mother. “I would have never expected to be in this type of situation with my son, who’s never given me a problem,” she said before breaking into sobs, going on to say she doesn’t know why he did what he did, “but I know he didn’t mean to hurt anybody …” and pointed out that there were no bullets in the gun. She insisted “my son … is very remorseful.” She said she had warned him he was hanging around with people he shouldn’t have been. Then, to him: “We’re disappointed in you, but we love you nonetheless … It’s going to be OK, you know?” Brown replied from across the bench, “Yes.” Finally, the judge heard words of support from a 16-year-old cousin who said Brown had always been a role model for him.

Brown’s lawyer Hal Palmer then said his client “made a very tragic decision at 19 years old.” He noted that the video forced the family to see what Brown had done. But he contended that it did not represent the “utter remorse” he said his client feels. After he mentioned “utter remorse” again, Judge Shaffer noted there’s a difference “between accountability and remorse.”

Brown himself spoke briefly, saying he wanted to apologize to “my family and myself … I’ve learned through this experience.”

Then, Judge Shaffer: “I often have people in front of me with significant issues going on in their lives” – drugs, alcohol, broken families – but “here I have a young man who had … family support. I have not just one impulsive event, but a week’s worth of impulsive events in front of me.” She referred to the first cell-phone robbery, in which Brown fought the victim for the phone, then an “uncharged” visit to a Tukwila restaurant in which items were stolen from workers there, and then finally the RapidRide robberies: “The first thing is, Mr. Brown got himself a gun before he got on the bus. Second thing, he is so cool calm and calculated as he moves throughout the bus ….” She mentions him sticking his gun in the second robbery target’s face when that man reacted; then she mentions what it was like to see Borger’s fast reaction, “heartstopping.” And as others run out, she said she knows they were afraid. All so Brown could pay off an impound bill for his car: “There’s no good reason for this, none. … it’s inexcusable behavior, Mr. Brown, you terrorized these people.”

She went with the state’s recommendation, 102 months (with other concurrent sentences) plus five years for firearm use, 162 months total, followed by 18 months of community custody (in essence, probation).

52 Comments

  1. I’m very thankful that we have mandatory-minimum sentences for use of a firearm in a felony. This piece of human garbage would be out terrorizing our community 5 years earlier, otherwise.

    Comment by Bradley — 4:37 pm May 30, 2014 #

  2. If he were a rich white guy – he’d get probation.

    No Justice, No Peace.

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 4:41 pm May 30, 2014 #

  3. White woman almost kills 2 girls, gets 1 year (2x what the prosecutor recommended and the max for the absurd charges) black kid steals phones with unloaded gun and gets 13.5 years. Seems reasonable.

    Comment by Jason — 5:03 pm May 30, 2014 #

  4. I doubt anyone that uses a firearm in the commission of a crime, would walk. Just wouldn’t happen!

    Comment by big-dude — 5:03 pm May 30, 2014 #

  5. Finally, some good news regarding sentencing: two cases today where the judges found their backbone. I am encouraged by this sentence, as well as for the woman who hit two students with her car.

    @ScubaFrog: You might be right that if he were rich and white he’d get probation, as crass as that is to even type. But if you think for one second that THIS perp doesn’t deserve what he got, you are so very far off base. While our justice system is far from perfect and plays favorites, there is no doubt in my mind that they got this one right. Better to ask for unilateral justice at a high penalty regardless of color or race than to lower the bar because of some misguided sense of white guilt.

    Comment by Yes, Yes, Yes — 5:08 pm May 30, 2014 #

  6. If he wasn’t an #$^&#$ and had tried to rob people, with a gun, he would not be in his predicament.

    Too bad.

    Comment by Ray — 5:10 pm May 30, 2014 #

  7. No Scuba, he’d get at least five years for the mandatory gun sentence.

    Also, rich white guys tend not to rob bus riders at gunpoint. Let’s not make this into some racial thing, Trevonnte is an adult, chose his actions, and now has to suffer the consequences.

    Comment by B — 5:14 pm May 30, 2014 #

  8. Scubafrog-You have to be kidding me. You are going to turn this into a racial issue? Nobody hired the black guy to get on that bus and rob people and scare the bejesus out of everyone. He’s been doing this since high school and wouldn’t have stopped until he was killed or sentenced. I don’t know any rich white guys around here that go around holding people up either, they tend to be losers just like Brown.

    Comment by alki resident — 5:18 pm May 30, 2014 #

  9. @ScubaFrog – so, another Black man treated unjustly? The judge was racist? Were the white and black people he threatened to kill racists, too? Please, keep the ‘race card’ to yourself.

    Comment by Sick of race baiters — 5:26 pm May 30, 2014 #

  10. Another bravo for Judge Shaffer.

    Comment by SD — 5:42 pm May 30, 2014 #

  11. LOL. If he were a rich white guy, he wouldn’t be stealing Iphones.
    .
    Actually you are partially right. The richer you are, the better defense you are usually able to afford. However, in this case, the video is pretty damning and he was dumb enough to use a gun. He was lucky he didn’t kill anybody with that gun or that during the struggle, he got shot. Overall, he is lucky he only got what the judge gave him.

    Comment by Eric1 — 5:45 pm May 30, 2014 #

  12. I love the fact that Casey Borgen did a totally un-Seattleite thing and actually fought back. The man should never have to buy a drink again in West Seattle.

    .

    Great outcome to the story, and thanks for the excellent follow-up WSB.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 6:02 pm May 30, 2014 #

  13. You guys are so comfortable saying “let’s not make this a racial thing.” It must be nice being able to just shove your head in the sand like that. Yes this guy committed crimes, yes he should be punished but he got way more time and charges piled on than a white guy with a decent defense attorney would have.
    .
    Again, the same judge just gave 1 year to a white lady that actually did physical harm to two people. Granted, that was the max she could give because the charges were absurdly light.

    Comment by Jason — 6:10 pm May 30, 2014 #

  14. Figures

    Comment by Eric — 6:11 pm May 30, 2014 #

  15. I agree that the amount of time O’Brien was sentenced to was absurdly light. But that doesn’t mean Brown got too much time. He deserves every bit of it.

    That said, I think looking at racial bias in charging would be a worthwhile exercise, given the difference in these two cases. How did O’Brien get off so lightly, considering she severely hurt two people using her car as a weapon?

    Comment by SD — 6:17 pm May 30, 2014 #

  16. What happened to the hug a thug community?

    Comment by Sittingbird — 6:33 pm May 30, 2014 #

  17. Jason, the white lady hadn’t committed more than one hit and run, it was her only criminal offense (unless others not mentioned), she demonstrated remorse (although not as much as she could have).

    Brown had committed multiple crimes that he confessed to, had shown no remorse, had no extenuating circumstances… and I don’t mean that last as in O’Brien had any excuse for what she did, just in the “this happened, which then escalated as this resulted” sense.

    She also didn’t have a gun, which as noted was an automatic 5 years.

    However, there’s a pretty open and shut civil damages case here against O’Brien, so even after the year in jail if the families take her to court, she could be on the hook for a long time.

    Comment by B — 7:08 pm May 30, 2014 #

  18. So lets take an obviously disturbed and troubled young man and sentence him to 13 1/2 years in crime college. That should work.

    Comment by Brian — 7:11 pm May 30, 2014 #

  19. I’m still here Sittingbird! But I’m going to try not to go down this rabbit hole with you folks again. We’re all neighbors here, I don’t want to get in a bickering us vs them battle. I think maybe a few of you could just use a little love of Jesus in your hearts that’s all.

    Comment by Jason — 7:11 pm May 30, 2014 #

  20. Did the victims get to choose the color of their assailant? Keep the race card out front to divert the focus from the actual crime committed.

    Comment by Rick — 7:45 pm May 30, 2014 #

  21. The woman with the car should have gotten a much harsher sentence as well. She used a potentially lethal weapon and intentionally tried to run over people (regardless of whether her intent was to kill or not). All for dissin’ her dog?!?!?!?!?!!?

    She should have been brought up on attempted murder, put away for a long time, and had her driving privileges removed permanently.

    Comment by Ray — 8:00 pm May 30, 2014 #

  22. Good to see justice prevail and that this criminal will be off the streets for many years.

    Comment by John — 8:42 pm May 30, 2014 #

  23. Its difficult for a judge in a felony court to stray outside of the sentencing grid. Its fairly cut and dry to figure out what a sentence can/will be. There are some enhancers (like the mandatory gun) and some things like if an offender commits the offense during community custody (probation). I think that a half point is added to the score. Juvenile points can count (again, i think its a half point for each juvenile offense). But the crime is assigned a number (the more serious the crime, the higher the number, then you add up the offenders points and move over on the grid to where the intersection occurs, this will provide the judge with the sentencing range (for example 18-22 months) it is then within the judges authority to make the sentence within those numbers. I might add that i do believe that a wealthier client may have a more vigorous defense,more assets to mount a stronger defense, and maybe even a better attorney, which may result in a different verdict, but once the verdict is in, the judge is

    Comment by gia — 8:53 pm May 30, 2014 #

  24. (ran out of space) the judge is farily limited. I can only imagine the terror that the bus riders felt, and i can only imagine how the family will feel over the years, missing their loved one. Regardless of how you might see this case, the family (who are not the criminals) is suffering also. I have compassion for this family. May the healing begin for everyone.

    Comment by gia — 8:56 pm May 30, 2014 #

  25. This is a fair sentence. It is not all that common to be caught committing a gun crime on candid camera.

    Tough to hire a lawyer good enough to buy your way out of robbery with a gun, when it is caught on camera. In its entirety. With many, many witnesses…on a dang bus. It is not like he escaped and they found him later…One could see the whole thing on camera…that is the beauty of it…caught red-handed, so to speak…

    I think Mr. Trevonte will enjoy Walla Walla. Wine country. Though it does get a bit hot in the summer. I am not sure if the rooms are air conditioned there.

    Comment by Bob Blenz — 9:40 pm May 30, 2014 #

  26. There are certainly racial issues in the US today and many of those issues play out in court rooms every day.

    But these are not the cases in which to make that argument. One involved firearm laws, the other didn’t. Apples to apples here, folks.

    Comment by Militant Moderate — 9:59 pm May 30, 2014 #

  27. Yep, one involved a firearm and one involved actual life-changing injuries. Of the 13.5 years, 5 of those were mandatory due to the firearm. Again, not defending this guy’s actions but of the two situations which of them left more physical and long-term harm on the victims?
    .
    Laws are laws, I get it. Doesn’t make them good laws. And surely we can all admit the prosecutors are making the charges, they could have easily charged Wheels with all kinds of stuff. For example she was charged with 2nd degree assault, seems she could have been charged with vehicular assault: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.61.522 which carries up to 10 years: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9A.20.021
    .
    So basically the way these laws are enforced are based on charges filed so let’s stop pretending everyone’s hands are tied when it comes to how people are punished for their crimes – they are not. Do you really think if a black guy attacked, tasered, and ran over 2 teenage girls he would face these same little charges? Or if this crime happened in the prosecutors neighborhood for that matter?

    Comment by Jason — 11:47 pm May 30, 2014 #

  28. We need to not be asking ‘would a white guy get the same treatment?,’ not unless there is some actual evidence supporting a real reason to believe the sentencing judge was biased here. Nor is there any basis to presuppose some rich white guy would (a) have had better counsel and (b) have gotten a better result. There is simply no basis for anyone to bloviate that the defendant’s lawyers here were anything less than completely effective and competent. Slighting his lawyers without any reason is simply ignorant and dumb. And frankly, with the video evidence here, I am unconvinced that even Clarence Darrow would have done any better or made any difference, even for a white defendant. Look folks, if you don’t like the sheer volume of black guys in jail, the question to be asking is ‘why are so many black guys committing so many serious and violent crimes that they end up in front of sentencing judges?’ Get over yourselves.

    Comment by GO AWAY SEATTLE LEFTIES ND RACE BAITERS — 1:00 am May 31, 2014 #

  29. I think a lot of you are missing the big picture. Many are reading these articles and comparing the two stories as if one is superior to the other. This kid is developmentally, a kid. I’m certain that at 19 yrs. more than half the people I know got away/avoided a felony DUI driving with over a .15 BAC, getting their ass arrested after an idiotic bar fight which hurt others or commit some form of a hate crime by the grace of God. Just bc they didn’t face legal problems for their actions doesn’t mean they didn’t engage in potentially criminal behavior, and were extremely lucky to avoid such negative consequences. This is not a violent man. To say he deserves to be locked up for the majority of his adulthood without a chance of rehabilitation is like saying let’s wait 13.5 yrs for him to get out and most likely re-offend once out bc he never gained the life skills, motivation to succeed, or at the very least the emotional investment in society that would help him become a more productive individual. In this field, many of the most effective and passionate therapists have come from an extensive background of crime and adversity. They just found someone who gave them a chance and fostered their strengths when others gave up. Take a look: what are you doing to prevent our at-risk youth from following a life that makes sense to them at this age? Don’t bother shaming me. I won’t read your comments. One and done. I will never stop advocating for youth and adult rehabilitation and I wholeheartedly support this man’s opportunity for a better life.

    Comment by 4rehab — 2:51 am May 31, 2014 #

  30. why would the defense attorney not want the video shown….was she afraid of the facts?…..perhaps I live under a rock but I find it odd this guy has had a life of crime and his entire family is 100% shocked to learn this news? what happened to family dinners and maybe watching a movie at night? guess those days are long gone in some instances…..guy pulls a gun on people riding the bus and then he complains he’s being hurt? wait until he sits in prison and finds out what ‘hurt’ really means…

    Comment by joel — 7:13 am May 31, 2014 #

  31. 4rehab……his current life is a life of crime and odds are he’ll end up dead in a gang shooting in White Center or Rainer. current life he will NEVER see college or likely be rehabbed. in prison he can get an education and maybe he’ll get tossed around in the play yard or have his lunch stolen but chances are he’ll come out alive and better educated. AND for 13.5 years the streets of West Seattle will be just a little bit safer with him locked up.

    Comment by joel — 7:17 am May 31, 2014 #

  32. The naivety displayed here is beyond staggering; it’s almost bordering on some sort of pathology, like a Messiah Complex.

    The guy pulled a GUN on passengers on a BUS, where they couldn’t escaped and were trapped. He threatened people’s LIVES. What if your kid, or mother, or grandmother was on THAT bus? Some will be scarred and others will see that some didn’t show up because of fear of retaliation and will think twice before getting involved. HE did ALL of this, no one but Mr. Brown. Some people are just bad, period. Quit looking for the puppeteer behind the curtain. Are his defenders going to take on the responsibility of chaperoning him through life – so he doesn’t terrorize someone else??

    This is such a bizarre corner of the country; you people make Californians look middle of the road sensible.

    Comment by G — 11:28 am May 31, 2014 #

  33. Having worked in the system for many years, I can tell you that public defenders in King County are among the best. Big $$ doesn’t always buy you the best criminal defense. Public defenders are in the trenches every day and really know their stuff.

    Comment by carole — 2:58 pm May 31, 2014 #

  34. I just saw/ heard in the longer video the suspect yelling… “get off me white boys”… isn’t that a hate crime based on color/creed/ national origin?
    Bottom line.. the whole thing is very sad.
    Excellent reflexes for the guy that grabbed the gun…. who knows how many lives he saved. I hope he is aware of this.

    Comment by k — 2:59 pm May 31, 2014 #

  35. Poor little mama’s boy, but if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

    Comment by ltfd — 6:12 pm May 31, 2014 #

  36. How can you say he wasn’t remorseful? I counted five “remorses” in the report at the top of the page. That’s a whole lotta remorse going on in that courtroom…

    Comment by bolo — 8:32 pm May 31, 2014 #

  37. Bolo,

    The defendant said he wasn’t remorseful. It was his family that said it

    Comment by Eric — 10:14 pm May 31, 2014 #

  38. He did say in court that he was sorry. The prosecution said that during interrogation, he said he wasn’t sorry. The prosecutor, yesterday, offered to play that video clip for the judge and courtroom if anyone didn’t believe her. The judge said that wasn’t necessary. (The prosecutor had come equipped with a laptop full of clips, apparently, including the long in-bus video of the actual incident that was played during the hearing.)

    Comment by WSB — 10:49 pm May 31, 2014 #

  39. The fact is that there is a tremendous racial disparity in charging/sentencing in America. To deny this fact, is to deny reality. And may be an example of one’s own bigotry and/or racism.

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 11:20 pm May 31, 2014 #

  40. WSB,

    From what I read, he was only sorry to his family and himself. What about the victims?

    Comment by Eric — 7:31 am June 1, 2014 #

  41. K Wrote: I just saw/ heard in the longer video the suspect yelling… “get off me white boys”… isn’t that a hate crime based on color/creed/ national origin?

    Eric: Whether it is or is not, it seems to me to be something that is widely accepted to be OK to say.

    Comment by Eric — 7:39 am June 1, 2014 #

  42. Double post

    Comment by Eric — 8:46 am June 1, 2014 #

  43. The lack of compassion and understanding displayed here is why we’re going to just keep having these types of crimes and problems for a long time to come. This guy didn’t target white people, he targeted anyone on a bus that had a phone.
    .
    In regards to remorse, let’s be honest everyone feels “remorse” when they get caught for a crime. The maniac that hit the 2 high school girls didn’t feel remorse for giving them life-altering head injuries, she felt regret because she had to go to jail. Saying sorry shouldn’t have much weight in these cases.

    Comment by Jason — 12:51 pm June 1, 2014 #

  44. I’d say he got off lucky. A citizen would have been within his/her rights to shoot some a-hole who points a gun in their face. If I were armed and he put a gun in my kid or wife’s face, Trevonnte’s fate would be far more terminal. Trevonnte is lucky that he is alive to be “remorseful.”
    .
    You don’t put a gun in someone’s face to steal their phone.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 3:55 pm June 1, 2014 #

  45. Yes Jason, we’re the reason these types of crimes keep on happening. Never mind the sense of entitlement or pure disregard for other people part of it.

    Comment by Eric — 4:32 pm June 1, 2014 #

  46. @somewhere well that would within your rights, hopefully you wouldn’t have shot someone else on the bus but yeah that’s the risk he was taking. He could have been shot and killed.
    .
    Eric, my point is that it would sure be nice if *we* as a whole were to realize we can’t just fix these problems by locking humans away for absurd amounts of time, it does absolutely nothing to prevent future crimes, and let’s not forget there is an entire industry out there making big money keeping people locked up.
    .
    It’s also very easy to claim entitlement when you most likely haven’t had to face many of the same challenges in life. Of all you guys that deny racism is still a real issue (despite all of the studies and evidence out there) I wonder how many of you believe that to the point of really thinking your life would be exactly the same if you were born as a poor black kid.

    Comment by Jason — 9:08 pm June 1, 2014 #

  47. Jason,

    I’m not denying that racism isn’t an issue. There are certainly issues of racism both on an individual level and at some systemic levels. I’ve seen and experienced all races express racism. I’ve worked with Vietnamese that threatened to quit their jobs if the boss was going to hire the Cambodian that applied.

    But I wonder if you’re not making over generalized assumption stereotypes to make your point with implications of equating being black with growing up poor in your statement.

    I would also say that you’re making assumptions about people if they are stating that this guy felt entitled that they most likely haven’t had to face many of the same challenges of life.

    I’m white and I grew up in Vallejo, Ca. and grew up poor. We lived in apartments that by today’s standards would be condemned. At one point, the bedroom that my sister and I shared was the closet. I had to learn how to fight to protect myself just because the color of my skin. While I obviously didn’t have the same challenges as this guy, I had a mother who was an alcoholic and suffered from Schizophrenia. Forrest Gump’s statement that life is like a box of chocolates because you never know what you’re going to get had no idea the gravity of that statement growing up with a mother suffering from these two diseases.

    I made a promise that I would not be poor and it has not always been easy. Sometimes working two jobs to make ends meet. When I got laid off, I worked any odd job I could find (and that’s where I put my focus on finding work rather than the easy way) just to make ends meet.

    So the point is, if you thinking people are claiming entitlement from the perch of having a wonderful life and not having challenges, that is simply not accurate.

    As I’ve also said before, when I went back to school in human services, and while I do lean to the left, the teachers leaned so far to the left and put so much blame on the system, that they virtually quashed any personal responsibility.

    The sense of entitlement from students that were getting all of this financial help was astounding! This was with all races involved. People getting their phone plans paid for, free computers, money for classes and still complaining! Complaining that they didn’t get the newest model phone. Complaining about their computer. People were even taking money and buying new dress shoes, fancy jewelry, among other things. How do I know? Because they bragged about it! And they found a loop hole in working the system to be able to do it and still keep the financial aid rolling in.

    So there needs to be some middle ground here instead of either getting all Fox News or Air America about it. Yes, there is certainly racism happening, both on an individual level and systemic level and people cannot just put their head in the sands and deny it. People of all races needs to face it, otherwise we as society cannot heal it so to speak. As I’ve said before, racism comes from an idea about a people rather than a relationship with a person.

    But we cannot also put our heads in the sand and say there is not a culture of entitlement happening. A mindset that the person is “owed something”. A mindset that has no disregard for other people. A mindset that is selfish, self centered and self serving. That culture that comes from all races also needs to be addressed. We can blame the schools, the system, the this and the that, but at some point personal responsibility of both parents and the child need to be taken into account also. There are many people who are not emotionally, financially, or mature enough to be having children that are having them. That also needs to be addressed, because these values are being passed on from parent to child and on and on it goes.

    Eric

    Comment by Eric — 5:22 am June 2, 2014 #

  48. @Jason: “it does absolutely nothing to prevent future crimes.” Hmm, by this guy’s own admission, he’s participated in several strong arm robberies, and he’s 19. So this guy is on a pace to rob continually. Guessing that his “several” robberies equals three, and he’s only 19, let’s guess that he started around 16. That puts him on pace for a robbery a year. That means locking him away for 13.5 years would probably prevent about 13 robberies.
    .
    I’m not sure I understand the logic that locking away a criminal does nothing to prevent future crimes. And this is excluding the fact that this person is already robbing people with a gun at 19; typically, criminals escalate in violence over time.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 10:59 am June 2, 2014 #

  49. Eric, very well said.

    You work ethic is one to be respected. I am sorry about your mother but I respect you even more for being able to recognize her issues and not making yourself a victim as many people would do. It would have been very easy for you to stay in the failure mode and make it all about yourself in a destructive way. Instead, you pulled yourself up and made a good life for yourself.

    These days, if you disagree with anyone who is not white, or point out a flaw with anyone who is not white, you are a racist. Fine, call me a racist. I am sick of all of it.

    Comment by T Rex — 12:36 pm June 2, 2014 #

  50. Thanks T. Rex,

    I don’t usually talk about this, but I thought it was somewhat relevant considering I was the one speaking of entitlement. Of course typing that early in the morning there were typos and a double negative in my statement of disregard. Oh well.

    Yet, the point is, had this been a white person that had done this, I would feel the same way. It would be nice if we could address the content of one’s character without automatically calling foul simply because of the color of their skin.

    For example,I don’t think anyone would be saying much if I talked about my white aunt, who’s pretty much a POS. She’s self centered, selfish, and feels entitled. She has never held down a regular job or tried to. She has been on welfare most of her adult life. She sales drugs to support her drug habit and has had 3 kids on top of that. And she somehow thinks she is entitled to be able to do all of this and get free money like it’s a right. Yet if I talked about someone of a different race that held the same mentality and lifestyle as my aunt, I would probably get some comments on my “insensitivity” aka racism.

    I know that can be difficult too, because people can and sometimes do make assumptions/stereotypes based on a person’s race and we all have beliefs/values/attitudes and yes….prejudices. Ironically, I’ve even seen a person sterotyping a race while trying to defend the person of that race. Danielle’s comments on another thread related to this story come to mind.

    It always seems so polarizing. It’s either this or it is that, but it never seems to come to the middle and I think most people are in the middle, really.

    Comment by Eric — 3:53 pm June 2, 2014 #

  51. Geez, another typo? I meant sells not sales. I need to proof read

    Comment by Eric — 4:58 pm June 2, 2014 #

  52. Eric,

    Be proud of yourself that you broke the cycle. If you have children they will not be raised in that type of environment and will hopefully understand the difference between working hard for yourself and not expecting your government to give it to you.

    And your aunt is a POS. I am sorry for you, but just because they are family does not mean you have to like them. Surrounding yourself with good friends as a support is the first step to get rid of the riff raff that you are born into.

    I wish you a wonderful and drama free life!

    Comment by T Rex — 11:21 am June 3, 2014 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^