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 RIP lil Cindy...Simple city Star

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frankielucasjr
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Number of posts : 19
Age : 28
Reppin : VICE CITY
Age : 17
Registration date : 2008-01-22

PostSubject: RIP lil Cindy...Simple city Star   Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:55 am





The coffin was open, and Cynthia "Little Cindy" Gray looked peaceful as a storm of fury and despair churned around her in First Rock Baptist Church.
Hundreds wearing "R.I.P. Lil Cindy" T-shirts mourned the latest victim of violence in Southeast Washington's Benning Terrace.
This time, the story was more horrific than many could remember: Gray, 17, saved her infant godson by pushing him under a car as bullets started flying the night of Aug. 24.
While she was on the ground, her killer stepped over several people to get to her, then shot her in the face. She was days away from starting her senior year at Eastern Senior High School.
Many at the service had been in the church weeks earlier for the funeral of Gray's boyfriend, Ronnie Garner, 17, who was shot in the head and killed. Police had not made arrests in either case.
D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward Cool spoke to those in the crowd, some of whom were wailing uncontrollably, and warned against settling the score with violence.
"I know many of you have retaliation in your hearts. You can't even think about that," Barry said. "An eye for an eye leaves us both blind. If you love Little Cindy, get retaliation out of your heart."
He said someone there might know who killed Gray. The crowd responded with a loud "umm-hmmmm."
"I know you don't like snitches, and I don't like snitches, either," Barry said, alluding to his brushes with the law and getting chuckles from the pews.
But as whispers went around the room that the community knows who killed Gray and Garner, Barry implored residents to tell police. Three other teenagers were wounded in the shooting.
"If you know what happened, you must tell," Barry said. "Or you are going straight to hell."
He also implored community members to call the D.C. government and demand improvement in the neighborhood. Barry said they need jobs to help them put food on the table and streetlights on corners to make it safer. "Benning Terrace isn't fit for a dog to live there," he said.
Then, the former D.C. mayor -- who last held that post more than seven years ago -- ended his eulogy by announcing, "By the power vested in me, I hereby proclaim this day Cynthia Gray Day."
Following Barry in the pulpit was Edward D. Reiskin, deputy mayor for public safety. When he said he was representing Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D), the crowd let out a soft "boo."
But within a minute, he had them clapping. "It goes without saying that we shouldn't have to be here, that guns shouldn't be used to solve problems," Reiskin said. "I can't say I know what you're feeling, but my heart goes out to the family of Cynthia Gray."
D.C. Council member Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7), who is running for council chairman, said that when the council is back in session, he plans to ask for an emergency action to name his $6 million youth outreach initiative the Cynthia Gray Plan.
Ronald "Moe" Moten, co-founder of the grass-roots group Peaceoholics, stepped up to the microphone and said that nobody who spoke before him was going to help change the community and that they must do it themselves.
"If you don't have hope things will change, they will remain the same," he said.
He then told those in the church that they are living in a time of contradictions. "We live in a world where we tell children not to beef, but when our country has a beef, we go to war," Moten said. He said that it is time to rebuild "the village" and stop killing.
"If we keep going back and forth, back and forth, we ain't gonna be here," he said. He also said the community has made serious strides in the past decade.
In the 1990s, the Benning Terrace area was one of the most dangerous places in the city. Outreach groups helped to broker a truce between rival gangs, which brought relative calm to the area. But recently, violence has heated up again.
This year, about 25 percent of the city's killings have taken place in the police district that includes the Benning Heights area, according to police data.
Rico Rush, president of the Alliance of Concerned Men, which helped bring about the truce, presented Gray's mother with a plaque honoring her daughter's heroism.
He said he believed the people who killed Gray were not from the Benning Terrace area.
"These people were from outside the community," he said.
The Rev. Anthony Minter preached a message of hope that also expressed exasperation.
"I don't know how many deaths we have to see before the light bulb goes on," he said.
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