Over the last few days, I've deliberately avoided blogging about the short life and tragic death of Quavale Finnell because I just haven't believed that I could do the topic justice, at least not on this blog. There are so many questions.
- At 14 years old, was Quavale a menace to society? Was he hopelessly lost or was he really trying to turn his life around?
- Who deserves blame? Did Quavale's parents fail him? What blame should the Hamilton County Juvenile Court and Department of Jobs & Family Services bear? And what about the greater community, or the "village". Did we raise this child wrong? Or should he be held solely responsible for his actions in life, including those which led to his death?
- Have you heard Quavale's grandmother, Olivia Champion, speak on this issue? Do you agree with her? Do you at least feel sorry for her? Mrs. Champion says she tried to get custody of Quavale but the white Hamilton County social workers who think they know what's best for Black kids blocked her and insisted that Quavale be place in foster care.
- And what should happen to the man who allegedly shot and killed Quavale -- Bennie D. Hall, Jr.? Is he a vigilante? Was this self defense? Should he be arrested, charged, indicted, and forced to hire a lawyer and let a jury of his peers decide if he broke the law? Or is this a case where Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph T. Deters should say I don't have probable cause to take this case to a grand jury because the man had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and he was defending himself? (I wonder what would've happend if Joy Rolland's baby daddy had been carrying a loaded gun when Joy tried to run him over with her car and he had shot and killed her? Would he be charged with a crime?) Anyway, if you've ever had your car stolen or your home burglarized, you know that you feel violated. My car was stolen once, and I thought to myself: I wish I had caught the people in the act; I would've kicked their ass.
My nemesis, Axinar, doesn't seem to have any hangups about sharing his feelings on the Quavale Finnell situation. He recently posted a blog entry titled, "Quavale Finnell's Family: 'It Was A Car'". Here's what he had to say:
Local 12's Shawn Ley is right on top of the Quavale Finnell story.
He caught up with apparently his biological grandmother, Olivia Champion
Olivia Champion had words for the man accused of shooting Quavale Finnell whilst horking a 1994 Taurus - "I want this man to know, that this was a car. He has taken a life! - that he has taken a son from my daughter, he has taken a grandson, a brother. I want him to know the family is suffering."
Uh, hmmmm ... sounds somewhere along the lines that this family let this child loose to STEAL CARS ALL OVER TOWN and cause all manner of chaos. It sounds like this family lost this child long ago. Even his friends and foster siblings were expecting him to spend a good deal of time in the hoosgow or taking an extended dirt nap due to all this foolishness he was foisting upon the community.
The suspected shooter, 61-year-old Bennie D. Hall, Jr., has yet to be charged, and he and his wife, who witnessed the shooting, are saying that Quavale Finnell was trying to run Mr. Hall over with the '94 Taurus.
Olivia Champion continues, "Did it dawn on him to call 911? We live in a civilized society. This is not the wild, wild west."
Shut the F. up.
Did it dawn on you to KEEP YOUR GRANDSON OFF THE STREET???
My grandmother, God rest her soul, would have BEAT THE HIDE OFF ME after the FIRST car I stole.
You have NO idea what was going on.
The matter is obviously still under investigation, but, from where I'm sitting - look - I have owned Tauruses - SEVERAL of them - and that's a pretty substantive vehicle. Given one clearly out of control teenaged punk with a Taurus as a weapon and a 61-year-old on foot armed with nothing but a revolver and his wits, until the PoPo figure out otherwise, I'm leaning on the side of the 61-year-old.
I'm not sure I'm real comfortable with ordinary citizens having to make decisions about summarily executing these clearly dangerous individuals myself, but with the current system either unwilling or unable to do anything, I think you are going to see more and more individuals forced to defend themselves ... by any means necessary!
l'm posting Axinar's comments because I think they represent the views of a fair number of people. (I may have a guest blog entry from the lovely Amanda E. Mayes on this topic. Some of you may be surprised to read her view.) Naturally, some people will totally disagree with Axinar. That's cool. Those views (and really all responsible views) are welcome here at the Cincinnati Black Blog.