Letter: Where is the outrage for Derrick?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

On the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old at Lee Walker Heights: In the last few months there have been two fatal shootings and two other serious but nonfatal shootings at Lee Walker Heights. In the most recent one, called a drive-by shooting by witnesses, a 12-year-old, Derrick LaQuinn Lee Jr., died, and an 18-year-old is in the hospital with serious injuries.

I am writing to ask: Where is the questioning and outrage about this and other fatal shootings of area young people, especially those in public housing? Why is no one, specifically, Mayor Esther Manheimer, City Council representatives, ministers at area churches, local activists, civil rights groups and their members demanding answers, speaking out in public or protesting about this deadly gun violence and calling on the mayor, the Asheville Police Department and others to come up with some plan and solutions to end the killing before another one makes headlines in the Asheville area?

— John Penley

Editor’s note: Xpress contacted the mayor and City Council with a summary of the letter writer’s points and heard back from Council member Vijay Kapoor. Noting that he was speaking only for himself, Kapoor wrote: “When I ran for Council, I did so to ensure that all Asheville residents could go to sleep each night feeling safe, fed, healthy and valued, and I have been working hard to make this a reality. Several weeks ago, I met with Chief [Tammy] Hooper about Derrick’s murder and the violent crime increase we are seeing in parts of our city. To her credit, she has tried to raise this issue with Council for months. Recently, I visited Lee Walker Heights, where Derrick was killed, and other public housing communities to introduce myself and meet residents. I’m asking residents how they and we can make their neighborhood safe. Contrary to popular belief, many residents want additional police officers on-site. We need to find who shot Derrick, and I raised $2,000 of the current $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. Our violent crime problem is costing lives and causing neighbors to live in fear. All of us in the community need to step up.”

For more info on the reward, see avl.mx/56s.


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16 thoughts on “Letter: Where is the outrage for Derrick?

  1. The Ego Has Landed

    It’s all a scam, the city politicos and local media (including this publication) are just lackeys for the The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority.
    In their eyes, if they don’t truly investigate an issue, there most not be an issue.

  2. Lulz

    Whitey not involved, lefty don’t care. They might not say it but it be like it.

  3. Richard B.

    Exactly what is happening in Chicago. It’s all about the liberal narrative. It only works when an African American victim is attacked by a Caucasian person. Otherwise, it is ignored.
    The Narrative is all important. It is the source of power for the Democrats, has been for awhile.

  4. John Penley

    I want to thank councilmember Vijay Kapoor for his sincere reply to my letter. I think he is a very fine man and Asheville is lucky to have him as a councilmember. As for the rest of them who did not reply well that was your choice and I have to wonder why you did not ? I think that the amount of the reward in this case is not all that much in comparison to rewards I have seen to catch people who killed children in many other cities. If someone did a driveby and shot some tourists in front of the four star hotels and upscale restaurants and bars in downtown Asheville you can bet the reward would be a hell of a lot higher. It seems to me that those who are making big bucks in the tourist industry here should be more concerned about what happens to poor children in the city housing projects but they are clearly not or each and every one of them would have donated to crimestoppers to help catch those who drive by and murder our children. Shame on those who are making big profits here for not jumping in and donating some of their money to help catch the people that shoot children in Asheville.

    • Lulz

      But no shame on them taking the money while leaving everyone else stuck with the bill.

  5. Enlightened Enigma

    No responsibility from the Mayor, the City Council, the mother of the child, the father of the child, the grandparents, the Housing Authority…on and on ??? Some these people are responsible. Which ones would you pick ?

    • Lulz

      LOL they’ll blame Trump. You’re expecting people with zero principles except whichever lie they can con people with to gain their support to be truthful. It ain’t happening. They’ll sellout the country to anyone who can make it across the border for future votes. What makes you think they’ll admit that a welfare society creates more of the same? Why how could they play the race card then?

  6. J

    There’s consistent outrage over gun rights in this country; but what the majority wants doesnt matter; money matters! Our whorish political system allows electors officials to get their knees dirty for big money campaign contributors. So while a community mourns the deaths of innocent bystanders ambushed by the spray of lead… we’ve become numb, because there’s nothing we can do….

    • Lulz

      LOL and what on Earth makes you think the firearm used was obtained legally? What you really mean is everyone else should pay for the failure of decades of welfare.

      • J

        OMG! How are u going to equate the lack of gun control with taxpayer welfare???
        Typical conservative rhetoric!
        It Doesn’t matter if it was obtained legally or illegally; the point is that there’s way too many guns available due to the consistent lack of pragmatic restrictions!

  7. Sina

    I was also thinking about this and how that young man lost his life and no one seems to care. It wasnt by a cop so, BLM and the media dont care. Wheres the protest, the vigil, the demand for change. The hypocrisy is disgusting.

  8. Tom Williams

    No one want to address the issue of the code of silence. To blame tourism is such a stretch.

  9. jason

    When the people who live in that community will not help authorities solve crimes, then people tend to forget. It’s a culture thing. You know people who live in that community know exactly who pulled the trigger and who was involved.

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