After 17 years of living with guilt, Trevell Coleman, better known as rapper G-Dep, walked into the 25th Precinct on Wednesday and admitted to fatally shooting a man outside of an East Harlem housing project almost two decades ago. The victim was John Henkel, a Queens man whom Coleman attempted to rob on the night of October 19th, 1993. “It was just eating away at him,” said one police source. Continue reading →
Last week, Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, a homeless man, was wandering down a street, in Queens, NY, when he came across a knife-wielding dude trying to attack a lady. He didn’t know the lady. Yet, that didn’t stop him from doing what any man, who truly is a man, would do. He tried to help her. We’ve seen enough movies to imagine how the scenario shifted at that point. He successfully saved the woman from her demise, & inherited his own. The attacker severely stabbed Yale-Tax & fled. Again, men are supposed to be raised as men, to police the community if need be, & to help those in danger. That’s one of, if not the most pertinent problem in communities these days, whatever color your neighbor may be. Somebody taught Hugo the right thing, & unfortunately, he died for it.
But, oddly enough, that’s not the kicker. The kicker is that, as this man lay dying on a sidewalk, no one stopped to help him, probably because he was obviously a vagrant, & in most people’s eyes, that’s subhuman. Roughly 25 people walked by him before he expired. There’s surveillance footage, from a near by business, that shows pedestrians noticing him bleeding onto the sidewalk, some stopping, yet no one could do for him what he did for someone else. What kind of shit is that? Some young cat even took a cell phone picture of him while his life profusely leaked from his perforated body. He could have used that phone to dial 911. What a waste of technology.
I’m familiar with “The Bystander Effect,” or “Genovese Syndrome,” but no amount of psychological mumbo jumbo can help me fathom total admonishment of any type of civic sympathy. It’s situations like this that make me think I’m the odd-man out, socially. There are a thousand reasons why Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax was homeless. None of which are my concern, & any of which would be pure speculation. What I do know is that he died like a man, versus living like a coward. That deserves the utmost respect, in my book.
Meanwhile, Hugh “Viagra Man” Hefner just plopped down $900,000 to save the Griffith Park area surrounding the Hollywood sign from becoming residential. A company developed plans to construct high-end living quarters in the mountain-side near the sign, & the only way to impede their progress was for Los Angeles to buy the land from the developers. Hefner heard that nearly a million bucks was still needed to halt the project. So, being a billionaire, he upped it.
In essence, he spent a million dollars to make sure that (other) rich people couldn’t live there, but at the same time, at the base of the “mountain,” tens of thousands of people go hungry, daily, & have nowhere to live, aside from tents, alleys, & if they’re well-to-do, a car. Homeless shelters are only temporary, so they’re just a bandage on the wound. At least 30% of said people are children. Coincidence? Irony? Rampant douchebaggery with no end in sight?
If Stephen Hawking is right, & aliens will visit us one day to rape us for our resources, I wouldn’t be surprised if they wiped us out, just because we’re probably the cockroaches of the universe.
The funny thing about haphazard behavior is that rarely do you cover your ass. One jumps head first into the fray, without weighing any possibilities &/or outcomes. Although foresight is virtually impossible, common sense isn’t. I’ve seen blind cats navigate backyards for food. Just saying. Adversity builds character, true indeed, but all it takes is 5 minutes for that character to commit suicide.
Throughout this whole ordeal with *no dry snitch*, while I’m being the protective older brother to an “armed & dangerous suspect,” I never once thought to ask him what happened to the gun. I was so caught up in the espionage of the moment, I’d forgotten why he started coming around me to begin with, those light years ago. No dad, no older brothers, uncle (by marriage) was a crack-head, mom only 15 years older than him; he was looking for someone who would be looking for him, if you smell my cologne. To this day, the only times I ever heard about his pops was from other people.
How did I forget to ask him about the fucking gun?
5 minutes became 5 hours. Nightfall became the next day, with no signs of *no dry snitch*. Most of the neighborhhod regulars were on the block, spilling into my yard & driveway, when I came outside that morning. Everybody looked at me, & I knew. Seems he, against my warning, decided to stroll through the ‘hood on his way to wherever. His thing was to show the world that he wasn’t scared of anything or anybody. Especially the police. Once he made his rounds, gave some hugs & shook some hands, he headed toward his destination.
What I didn’t know was that this entire time, throughout this whole ordeal, that same dirty ass gun was on him, always. Jacket pocket, back pack, under his big, dirty ass t-shirt, etc. He always said that valley dude’s homies would find him before the cops did, but I’ve never been good at math, so I never really put two & two together until the LAPD did it for me. That day he left our street, plain clothes officers were patrolling, & followed him to where he ended up. Upon leaving that house, they detained & questioned him, & after being handcuffed in a unmarked sedan for roughly a half an hour, a sergeant arrived & I.D.’d him. He had weed & the gun he used to murder another man in his possession. I’m not an attorney, but that’s all bad regardless of one’s vantage point. &, it turned out that valley dude wasn’t a man at all, but another misguided teenager who watched way too many gangsta movies growing up & was raised more by rap music & negative energy than his own parents. Brothers from another mother, one might say.
That chicken head, the eye of this tragic storm, testified against *no dry snitch*, & even though we all wrote letters to the court, the judge ultimately threw the book at him. *no dry snitch* caught the book like a man, & carried it with him under the jail.
That was several years back. Now, *no dry snitch* is just urban legend, neighborhood fodder used to scare kids straight & teach them about how quickly bad decisions can collapse around you. But, we all know kids don’t listen though. A similar scenario is most likely playing out right at this very moment, probably not to far from where you are.
The problem is that we don’t put the knowledge, information & wisdom where the younger generations look. The movies. The music. The corner. Maybe eventually, such mediums can be used to educate & uplift what’s reality, rather than glamorize & dumb down what’s not.
Currently, *no dry snitch* is reading law books galore, trying to swim with the sharks. Or at the very least, not drown.
I’ve had a gun pointed at me on a few occasions. Every time though, a strange sense of calm washed over me, as if God were in my head telling me that I’ll be fine; it’ll be over soon. No bullshit. The same feeling I had almost 2 years ago, as I lay dying in an ICU cubicle. Doctor’s were telling me, in so many words, that I probably wouldn’t leave there the way I WANTED to, & perhaps it was the cacophony of meds being pumped into me every minute, of every hour, but I was never scared, word to T.I. & Bonecrusher.
*no dry-snitch* was the type of kid that, when on high alert, allowed his fight-or-flight mechanisms to take over. Not surprisingly, this time it was fight, which I personally saw him do several times over the years, so I understood when I’d heard what happened.
Rightfully so, as fast as valley cat drew the weapon, it was snatched from his hand. I’ve seen Keanu Reeves do that move a couple of times, but whodathunk it worked in the real world. Just that quickly, the aggressor became the aggressee. *no dry-snitch* kicked him away, so that the same thing wouldn’t happen to him, & kept the nozzle of the handgun stubbornly pointed in valley kid’s general direction.
All this, while shorty watched wide-eyed on the sidelines.
Knowing the plight of the over-eager, hard-headed young street soldier, I’m positive that several words were exchanged & some variation of a scene from ‘Menace To Society’ was acted out before the following took place:
Within a 5 minute window, *no dry-snitch* had become a “man”, a survivor, & was hoofing it back to his relatives’ locale. Out of bounds, & out of options, his aunt, uncle & cousin jettisoned him to his mom’s apartment, who in turn took him to another aunt’s, where he lived in L.A., around the corner from me. After all, how much thicker is blood than ‘harboring a fugitive’ when you really think about it? His moms gave him a few dollars & the best advice the mother of a murderer can give to her hell bound son; (& I quote, because I know her-more on that later) “STAY THE FUCK IN THE HOUSE, *no dry-snitch*!”
Young & stubborn, he showed up on my porch early the next morning, with a bag full of clothes & a smile on his face. I opened the door & snatched him in, looking around before I slammed it shut, & began the “Furious Styles” rant & rave routine. Fuck that. I’ve been a huge part of a chain of command in this boy’s life for years. Best believe I was going to get in his ass [||] about this incredible stupidity. He’d cry & go turn himself in before he’d even think about yelling back, word to strong male figures worldwide. You can tell a lot about a person by the people they respect. Just saying. He told me his version of what happened, which was pretty close to what had already been leaked to the streets. Bad news travels fast, nah’mean? I rolled a blunt, & as we got high & mellow, I could smell the fear, paranoia & remorse, which by now was more pungent than the dirt weed we set ablaze.
The chick-a-dee had relatives out here, of course, & word of valley boy’s death hit the city before *no dry-snitch*’s dusty Fila’s did.
His aunt, a very nice but stern lady, wasn’t ready to let a demon reside in her home. He’d been there all this time, so I didn’t see what the big deal was, but nonetheless, he was on the run, & now homeless. So guess who extended their back house?
Oddly enough, I’ve never felt as safe as I did with a killer living with me. It was better than having a gun. Anyone with a wild younger brother or an psychotic rotweiler knows exactly what I mean. Except, this was beyond wild; *no dry-snitch* took a man’s life, with that man’s own stolen gun. In the movie ‘Juice‘, Bishop was a character brought to life by a great actor. But *no dry-snitch* was who that character was based upon, if you smell my cologne. So, his mom paid me weekly rent, & thanked me often, dropping off cigarettes & booze every couple of days like a good enabler should. In hindsight, her gratitude wouldn’t have meant shit had the police ran up in my house. & best believe, they were looking for *no dry-snitch*, even went to his aunt’s crib applying the pressure. Little did they know he was in my backyard, listening behind the wall. But, that kind of thing doesn’t register to a monster. He’d walk to the store, stand on the block, & pretend that all was normal, gang-banging as usual, completely oblivious to the 5 minute factor.
Eventually, the summer was over & he concluded that the heat had simmered, even though Black & Whites stayed canvassing the neighborhood daily. One afternoon, he said somebody owed him so money, & when I offered to give it to him so he wouldn’t have to leave, he mumbled & started walking away.
“I’ll be right back, TG! In 5 minutes.”
To be concluded tomorrow…