This guest column comes from Kia Dupree Joppy, sister of community activist Timothy Dawkins, who was shot and killed Aug. 21, 2013.
I loss my baby brother, my mom loss her youngest son, my siblings loss their favorite brother, his son loss a father and [Trayon White] lost his best friend.
It feels, like it was just last night even though he was slaughtered like an animal in the street on August 21st by a gunman shooting aimlessly in a residential neighborhood in broad daylight while children played nearby a few months ago. A nightmare in my head playing on repeat consistently. The gut wrenching sounds of Mommy wailing, the frozen ghostly glare of my brothers who’re pained with disbelief, the denial I still feel… Timothy is dead and unfortunately, despite the unbelievable young life he lived, he is a statistic. Young black male dead before 25. A homicide. Why with all the good deeds he did, ministering and mentoring youth, sharing a kind word or powerful message to people his senior, Timothy touched so many people. His funeral was proof of that. Nameless faces who were all moved by something he’d said or done for them was proof that he was a gift to this world. Writing this letter aches my heart. I feel like Timothy was assassinated because no one really cares about the violence that’s erupting in this city. The neighborhood where he was murdered has been plagued with violence since my parents’ generation. It’s so ironic that Timothy died the same way so many other young black males have died in this city. He worked so hard counseling others about the evils associated with violence and ignorance. How ironic that many more have been slain since his death in the same neighborhood. How is it that this continues to happen with so many resources available in the nation’s capital? I so pray that Timothy’s son, my son and our nephews don’t become a statistic because people continue to address violence in this city as if it’s just common place. Timothy was a natural leader, a great orator, extremely knowledgeable, phenomenal singer a lover of history, politics; and even taught himself how to play the guitar. What a senseless loss…to lose so much talent. I keep thinking of the Claude McKay poem, If We Must Die, when he says if we must die let it not be in vain. There are thousands of Timothy’s in this city. We must not let them fall victim to the street.
Share your voice.
If you have experienced any aspect of the criminal justice system due to homicide in DC and would like to share your voice, submit your letter to editor Laura Amico by email.
Guest columns are not edited and reflect the opinion of the writer.