Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Suffer the children...

Recently in Grand Rapids we had a rather shocking murder: Jamarion Lawhorn, a 12-year-old boy, took a knife to a playground of a private trailer park and fatally stabbed a 9-year-old boy and then asked a nearby adult to borrow his cellphone so he could turn himself in to the police. "Hi. I just stabbed somebody. I want to die. I'm tired of living in this world. Please pick me up," he said.

Besides the extreme youth of Lawhorn and his victim, Connor Verkerke, the case was troubling in a number of ways. The two boys didn't know each other. There had been no contact between them. The act was premeditated, committed in a place Lawhorn didn't play, and done in broad daylight. Also, Lawhorn was black and Verkerke was white.

If you haven't heard about this case, it's not surprising. The larger media doesn't cover stuff like this; it's too busy trying to inflame a race war in Ferguson. And although by all accounts Connor Verkerke was a very nice boy, well behaved and very loved, he tragically was the wrong color for clickbait. Just another unfortunate incident. Nothing to see here.

The story gets grimmer, though. Lawhorn, when examined after the crime, was found to be covered in bruises. CPS substantiated child abuse allegations against his mother and stepfather last year, but apparently the parenting classes they were required to attend didn't "take." So Jamarion and his two younger siblings continued to live in a house with little food, no sheets or blankets on the beds, drug paraphernalia in the bathroom, and turn-off utilities. Oh, and two abusive. drugging adults. Of course, now that Jamarion's done something even CPS can't sweep under the rug or try to repair with therapy or classes, the other children have been pulled from the home, and the state has filed to terminate Anita Lawhorn and Bernard Harrold's parental rights.

Jamarion will spend his life locked away somewhere. He's still being held in jail until they can figure out what charging a 12-year-old as an adult really means. No judge will ever assign bail and shouldn't. He probably has a metric ton's worth of rage shoved down not so deep inside. Who wouldn't? No mention has been made of whether his mother and stepfather will be charged. Anita already surrendered her rights to two other children back in the 1990s because of abuse.

This kind of thing absolutely guts me. Stuff with kids always does. And it's not because CPS didn't do its job. CPS can't do its job - we place parental rights to abuse and neglect children above the rights of children to have functional families, just like we place the rights of people to "express themselves" sexually, socially, emotionally, politically, criminally, etc., before the rights of children (and all people) to live in safe, prosperous, and orderly cities and towns. It's important that we mouth the right sentences, not that we protect the vulnerable. Ideas over people.

Anita Lawhorn is a bad mother and very likely a very nasty piece of work. But she's feral because she's been allowed to become feral and to continue to be feral. And at the individual level, there's very little we can do about any of it. Agencies will encourage people to become foster parents, and many well meaning and very ill-prepared people will sign up to try and put the pieces of the puzzles of the Anita Lawhorns out there back together - and then the state will give those kids right back to their abusers. And innocent people, black and white and every other race, will get mugged, robbed, stabbed, shot, raped, and murdered because children who live in hell grow up to have, to be demons.

And that is not even remotely surprising, just horrible and terribly sad.


  1. Well written, balanced perspective, plain truth. Thank you for speaking your thoughts. I wish they weren't needed. I am sick over the whole thing. God bless us all.

  2. I agree with every point except one, " No judge will ever assign bail and shouldn't. He probably has a metric ton's worth of rage shoved down not so deep inside. Who wouldn't? "

    Rather than the act of a child full of rage, I'm certain this is the act of a problem solving *child* who saw no proper way out for he and his siblings.

    His parents failed him, CPS failed him, every one and everything that was supposed to protect him, failed him. No one was there for him and his siblings.

    Know what can be counted on if you kill someone though? Especially as a black boy? That's right, the swift hand of "justice".

    It may not have been there to protect him, but it will be there to punish. And more importantly, FINALLY remove him from a situation in which he was being abused, starved, and neglected on the regular. Guess what else? As a child killer (both perpetrator and victim so bonus points?) you're guaranteed a light so bright it can't be overlooked will finally be cast upon your parents so your siblings might be saved too.

    As a few of the excerpts not shown here make clear, the boy was very calm and matter of fact (both in asking for a phone to call the police and when stating what he did) and all but ran to the cops so he could be taken away...

    ~Stacy said police first went to aid the stabbing victim. When officers started heading toward the playground area, the boy on Stacy’s lawn yelled “Hello. I’m right here. You’re going the wrong way.”

    Within another minute or so, more police arrived and the boy walked out to them in the street with his hands held in front of him, as if to be handcuffed, Stacy said." ~

    I'm with Stacy on this one,"This kid is reaching out for help -- I can tell -- but he’s reaching for it in the wrong ways.”