"Some Youth Kill People Just to Get Cool Points"
Aaron Teeter was 19 when he wrote this:
"When I was growing up, my mother and my sister were on drugs. It wasn't good for me, because I was exposed to things I wasn't supposed to be exposed to--like walking in the room and seeing my mother and her friends abusing needles, and my sister using a crack pipe. But that encouraged me to do better in my lifestyle. As a result of my mother's friends using drugs, they are all dead, but my mother is still alive and has been clean for over 15 years."
And Aaron Teeter was 19 when he wrote this:
"If you ever get yourself in a situation and feel like you want to do something violent, ask your self this: What will be the consequences for what I am about to do?"
And Aaron Teeter was 19 on the last Saturday in April, when he became the subject of someone else's writing, someone at the Metropolitan Police Department:
"At approximately 4:30 a.m., on Saturday, April 28, 2007, police were called to the area of 901 Wahler Place, S.E for the report of a shooting.< Upon arrival, after officers canvassed the area, they located 19-year-old Aaron Teeter, of the 900 block of Wahler Place, S.E in the rear of 3830 9th Street, S.E. suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the head. D.C. Fire Department emergency medical personnel responded to the scene, but could find no signs consistent with life. He was transported to the D.C. Medical Examiner's Office and pronounced dead at 9:05 a.m."
The death of Aaron Teeter resulted in a couple of sentences in this newspaper, a brief about another fallen teenager in the District. Teeter was shot while sitting outside his house. He had spent the previous year or so working with the Earth Conservation Corps, a group based along the Anacostia River that trains young people to care for that deeply neglected waterway and to teach children about their environment.
Teeter was pushing himself to become a journalist, to chronicle the mean streets and troubled souls of the place where he grew up. Just before he was killed, he was working on a video production about gun violence in his community.
"What made Mr. Teeter's journalism so powerful was his courage to openly discuss his past experiences as a student in failing schools, a dealer on the street corners, and a ward of the juvenile justice system," says Bob Nixon, who runs the conservation corps at its headquarters across from the new Nationals baseball stadium in Southeast. Teeter was admired around the ECC for his tough interviews of people such as Mayor Adrian Fenty and Vince Schiraldi, the chief of the city's Youth Rehabilitative Services department.
Teeter wrote about drugs, death and the depressed state of all too many young people in the District. Here's part of his essay on "Drugs, Violence and Youth:"
"Youth sell drugs because they aren't able to get other jobs. And some of the youth's parents are not around, so they just do what they see. But some youth just sell drugs to be a "get with". They have their parents, but just do it to fit in.
In terms of killing, some youth kill people just to get cool points. And some just do it to show people they're "hard" or that they are "bad". People get killed for being "hot"--that means snitching or talking to the police when they are not supposed to. Some youth kill people because they think the person just runs their mouth about things they are not supposed to be talking about.
And then there is the violence that happens at clubs. If you go to the club and a band calls out your neighborhood but not theirs, a person could get jealous, and a fight breaks out and you get thrown out of the club. But it doesn't end, because then the neighborhood you were fighting comes through your hood and starts shooting at your hood.
Other times, youth kill people because they have beef with the person. Like when my friend James was shot in school, standing in the hallway. A boy named TJ walked by, and James and TJ exchanged words. Later on that day at around lunch time we were walking to the lunch room, and my friend James saw TJ. They exchanged words again and that's when a big fight broke out. During the fight, TJ pulled out a gun and shot James four times and ran out the building. They put the school on lock-down until 3:15. We were told to go to the gym, and when we arrived, Marion Barry gave us the bad news. He said that James was shot and killed inside Ballou Senior High School, and the police were looking for the suspect who shot James. He said they were going to catch him.
Well, as we all were told the bad news, I felt like dirt because I thought school was supposed to be the safest place for a student. But that was not true, and the security was lacking that day. After that I did not go to school for more than a month. And as a result of that, I failed.
...Seeing all of this, I learned a valuable lesson. If you ever get yourself in a situation and feel like you want to do something violent, ask your self this: What will be the consequences for what I am about to do?
By Marc Fisher |
May 10, 2007; 7:49 AM ET
Previous: New Mayor, New Chance: Will Fenty Build on DC's Investment in Metro? | Next: The Random Friday Question: Where to Die?
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Well, | May 10, 2007 8:39 AM
Posted by: Claudius | May 10, 2007 8:51 AM
Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2007 9:04 AM
Posted by: ILL FROG WILL | May 10, 2007 9:07 AM
Posted by: Reese | May 10, 2007 9:15 AM
Posted by: I'm just sayin' | May 10, 2007 9:21 AM
Posted by: DCAustinite | May 10, 2007 10:11 AM
Posted by: truthteller | May 10, 2007 11:03 AM
Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2007 11:26 AM
Posted by: Southern Maryland | May 10, 2007 11:27 AM
Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2007 11:32 AM
Posted by: shocked dad | May 10, 2007 11:40 AM
Posted by: Native Washingtonian | May 10, 2007 11:57 AM
Posted by: BleedingHeartsLibs? | May 10, 2007 12:08 PM
Posted by: faye kane | May 10, 2007 12:32 PM
Posted by: SoMD | May 10, 2007 12:39 PM
Posted by: BleedingHeartsLibs? | May 10, 2007 12:51 PM
Posted by: MoCo | May 10, 2007 12:58 PM
Posted by: Scott | May 10, 2007 12:59 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2007 1:16 PM
Posted by: Southern Maryland | May 10, 2007 1:26 PM
Posted by: THS | May 10, 2007 1:31 PM
Posted by: Scott | May 10, 2007 1:35 PM
Posted by: Southern Maryland | May 10, 2007 1:37 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2007 1:46 PM
Posted by: BleedingHeartsLibs? | May 10, 2007 1:52 PM
Posted by: keedrow | May 10, 2007 2:00 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2007 2:11 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2007 2:14 PM
Posted by: Logan | May 10, 2007 3:16 PM
Posted by: Scott | May 10, 2007 3:31 PM
Posted by: South Loudounian | May 10, 2007 4:08 PM
Posted by: Southern Maryland | May 10, 2007 4:09 PM
Posted by: Scot | May 10, 2007 4:50 PM
Posted by: NYC | May 11, 2007 9:51 AM
Posted by: wake up | May 11, 2007 11:18 AM
Posted by: Falls Church, VA | May 11, 2007 4:14 PM
Posted by: to falls church | May 11, 2007 5:57 PM
Posted by: Mt-bob | May 11, 2007 11:24 PM
Posted by: Rebecca Renard | May 14, 2007 9:43 AM
Posted by: DCism | May 14, 2007 10:57 AM
Posted by: Jim | May 16, 2007 2:25 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | May 17, 2007 1:56 PM
Posted by: Joe | May 22, 2007 4:53 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.