Desnee Flakes's Blog

That Noise You Hear Is Real Talk For Real People

Desnee Flakes

Desnee Flakes
Aiken, South Carolina, US
December 04
I am a recently employed activist who has been writing all my life about the issues that mean the most to me. My interests lie in politics, parity, race, and history. I believe that each of those things are interconnected and that only when we look straight at something do we actually see it. My politics are left of center, and I don't rely on any movement to define where my center is. My father taught us to measure others with the same yardstick you measure yourself.


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MARCH 22, 2012 9:37PM

And Justice For All

Rate: 89 Flag


good life 021  

I have not been able to bring myself to read the multiple stories here concerning Trayvon Martin for one reason Chace Coe. Chace was my son and he was shot in the back of his head with an AK-47 one night in February 1993. I had just returned back in Elmont, NY after a winter in South Carolina. It was a long lonesome drive except for my dog Sunny, who was my constant companion. I recall I hadn't been asleep long... when the call came.

My boyfriend answered the phone, but I woke up because it was the middle of the night, and those calls are always bad news. I watched my boyfriend's face, between the color leaving his face, and his stunned silence I knew whatever it was it was bad. He looked at me and said it's your grandmother. I could hear her crying no -- wailing-- before I put the phone to my ear. When I said, "Motherdear what is it?" She screamed,"He's been shot! Chace has been shot!" I was scared to ask if he was dead, because I didn't want to know. No mother wants to know.

Once I found out he was in the hospital I packed my stuff, because I had to catch a plane to Gary, Indiana. I had to get to my child before he died. I had to let him know that I loved him, and I had to bargain with God for his life. My boyfriend made the arrangements then he got me to the airport right away. I recall that there were moments of great calm, as well as hysterical crying fits through the flight; but the flight attendants were wonderful with me. They even bumped me to first class, which was pretty empty they even tried to give me free drinks. I refused the drinks, and hid my face in a pillow to avoid making the other passengers feel uncomfortable.

 good life 094

My son didn't officially die before I got to him, but he was brain dead: we arranged with the hospital to keep him alive until my family could make it from various parts of the country.

People keep talking about how well Trayvon's parents are holding up in light of what they are dealing with. And I can only speak for myself, but when your child has been killed, and you know who did it--that-- becomes your focus. You still have the moments when you lose it, but you have something much more pressing than grief that keeps you moving. It isn't about revenge, at least it wasn't for me, but it was about justice for my child.

What far too many Black parents find is that justice is hard to come by if the media doesn't pick up the story, and most of the time they don't. Our children's lives are thrown on the dung heap of what passes for a justice system. If it isn't gang related; or a death because your child was killed while in the commission of a crime, and if the crime doesn't solve isn't like Law & Order. The detective didn't contact me after her initial contact, which was to introduce herself. She also let me know that my son was one of those rare cases of a victim that everybody liked.

The next time we spoke she attempted to label him a gangbanger. I asked her based on what? She told me he hung out with a group of boys, and that they had been in fights in high school. At that point I educated her that I had grown up in middle-class white neighborhoods, and that my friends had grown up with each other, and they often went to parties and got into fights. The difference is at no time would the cops have labeled them gangbangers for doing what teen boys do. I also informed her to think of me as white, and to not make that mistake with me again.


We spoke once after that. I had called the police with a lead on the van used in Chace's murder, my detective was off so I left her a message. You would think in a murder investigation that another detective would have taken the information and checked it out. When I called her three days later she hadn't even gotten the message, or so she claimed. She was more interested in how I had gotten the information than using it to find a killer. I was later educated that police don't have to investigate murders. That way if they don't do their job, you can only sue them if you can prove collusion between the cop and the killer.

My father hired a private investigator, for $5,000.00 he went to the police station once, and he was told there was no investigation of Chace's murder. I was later told the same thing when I spoke with a policeman. I went to the local paper and spoke with them about my son, but a little blonde haired, blue eyed girl had gone missing. In the real world black kids aren't a priority. So I called the Oprah Winfrey show, surely she would care, also Gary is just 32 miles outside Chicago. I never heard from Oprah.

Chace and I never saw justice: three years after his death a Federal taskforce brought his killer to trial. The evidence they had was based on the information I had given the police. I had gotten the information about who drove the van; who was in the car, who shot Chace, and what they did with the van from a twelve year old. He was a student of my friend, and I befriended him on my visits to their class. I encouraged him to study and lavished him with attention, because he had behavior problems. He responded by telling me everything after my friend took him some of Chace's comics, which I wanted him to have. The driver was his brother.

 The taskforce had no weapon, no van, and no motive. Their witnesses were serving time. One was a drug dealer doing 50 years on a federal cocaine charge. He had been in the car. The other was a convicted arsonist, his girlfriend bought the missing gun, which was sold to the defendant. The Assistant DA that tried the case had never tried a murder case, and she met with my grandmother and myself once for less than half an hour. She never conveyed to the jury the wonderful artist and kid that had been shot for a car amplifier. In three days she did nothing other than present a bare bones case, and let a killer go free.

I'm not angry or bitter that Trayvon's parents have been able to use social media to draw attention to their son. Their use of social media to drive the "real" media to the circumstance of their son's death gives me hope. I not only hope they will get justice, but I hope that other parents use social media to drive a nation to see that justice isn't for everybody.

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Wow. This is a must read. I am so sorry about the loss of your stunningly beautiful child. I am so sorry that justice has eluded you so far. Please keep writing about what you experienced in the "justice" system. It is important. Very few who endured that system can write as well as you.

I saw the criminal justice system up close . I always figured that I got so shafted, at every turn, because my case was for a no jail time misdemeanor. But, I always assumed it was different for murder or other serious crimes. I saw too that getting sued was everyone's primary concern. And, I saw that the press has no interest in so many important stories .
When I threatened to sue I almost was decimated by the system. Everything was done to assure them victory thought they knew I'd done nothing. Things were done that were "unprecented" I am told.
In the end, a judge threw out all the charges but what a road to get there.
So incredibly courageous of you to write about this, Des. I have few words except to say I was moved to tears and so much sadness. Keep writing, sis, this brutal world needs your voice and heart.
@fernsy I know that if you don't have a lot of money the system doesn't work very well for you. And I am sorry that you had to find that out first hand. Glad you made it out the other side without losing your freedom.
@June I knew I would eventually write about it June, very sad that I am doing it in relation to this story. But I was having this discussion with some workmates who marveled at the strength of his parents. I would bet they break down often and probably not in view of the public, they have work to do. Thanks to you both.
I wish there were something I could say.
I'm so sorry for you loss and that you then had to deal with a justice system that wasn't just. I'm glad you wrote about it.
This is a powerful story and I can only imagine your pain. If social media is good for anything, it should be for the cause of awareness.
Awareness of what is really happening out there off the computer and what we can do to help. Thanks Fernsy for telling us about this post.
rated with love
Thanks to fernsy for leading me to your post. I am at a loss to add a comment, as your story has left me stinging with a rising outrage at the injustices, incompetence, and secular blind stupidity that so many victims of violent crime face in this country.

I hope through your writing that you find at least a small pocket comfort from which you can retrieve a little peace.

I did lose my freedom for way too long. They took my freedom without the slightest reason that would satisfy any rational person. The system, I saw, was deeply nightmarish. I fell down the rabbit hole and can't really find my way out.
The system was filthy from the public defenders to the prosecutors to the police to the judges. It sounds like too much and it was too much. One good miracle, a black judge, saved me after 2 long years. He was swiftly removed from that courthouse after my trial was over.
I hope your post is widely read. It is really something . It must have been so hard to write. Again, my condolences, and kudos for the courage to get this out to others.
Another beautiful young man murdered, a screwed-up justice system, & thru it all agonized grieving parents. This is a nightmare -- first the unimaginable loss, second, the frustration of thwarted justice. This should not be happening. My condolences for all you have lost & all you've endured. Trayvon's death seems to have finally attracted media attention & big "important" people are giving speeches. Let's hope it's not just a quick story, passed over for the next earthquake or political scandal. Let's pray that this time changes are made, eyes are opened, & the nightmares end.
You had to do all the work yourself: "I was later educated that police don't have to investigate murders." Maybe I am naive, but this just flabbergasts me. And that first picture, in particular...a heartbreaker.
I am so sorry, which sounds so lame. But I truly am, for this and so many, many others.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Desnee, my heart goes out to you and to all your beautiful son's loved ones. I'm so sorry for the loss of your child Chace. There aren't enough words in the world to express the sadness and injustice of this, and no words to express the peace and comfort that I am wishing and hoping for you in this lifetime.
This is heartbreaking. Thank you so very much for the courage to share this with us. You have endured the hardest possible situation and yet you seem so full of grace. Perhaps social media can make a difference in the future. Let us hope so, so that others do not suffer what you have.
I have no words but please read this..
So sorry that you lost your baby in such a horrible way. You tell the story with dignity and no anger. Amazing.
Thanks to you all for your kinds words. I appreciate them greatly.
@Lea Lane it took time to get here I went through every one of the 7 phases of grief. I think social media is giving us an opportunity to make any child's death matter.
@Clay Ball you have given me great comfort.
@SheilaTgTg55 you said enough and I thank you.
@dirndl skirt my detective was romancing the chief, whom she married, she was promoted to deputy chief and they were both fired. True story.
@suzie I know far too many people see little or no justice. I met a woman at Parent's of Murder Victims who turned around in a bank line only to see her son's murder (he was killed for a basketball foul) standing behind her after 3 years in jail.
@Fernsy how horrible my aunt was a prison guard and took my younger brother and myself when we were in grade school to scare us straight beforehand. I can't imagine being there when you're not supposed to be. Actually I can, which makes it even worse.
@eyespye I feel my son led me to his murderer, I'm at peace. Glad Fernsy led you here.
@Romantic Poetess I'm also glad that Fernsy led you here. I think social media is making us more aware of these cases think of Oscar Grant.Though he didn't receive much justice people are paying attention and even the sh*tsack they have for a Governor in Florida is aware he can't sit back and do nothing.
@jlsathre I'm glad I did too thanks for reading it.
@Myriad you said enough really and thanks
greenheron I know I'll see him again. Thanks friend.
@Barbara I will read it. Thank you
The closest I ever came to this kind of story was the murder of my boss' 15 year old daughter in 1971. Her death was never investigated by the LAPD because she was "a runaway hippie whore." Well over a year passed before my boss managed to laugh out loud. To my knowledge they never found her killer.
Glad I was directed here. This is powerful, real, and invokes such humane sentiments and brings them to light. Well said, Desnee. R
jmac1949 I lost my God for quite a while until I realized that he through so many strange twists of fate helped Chace lead me to his killer. My teacher friend was a former roomate in San Francisco teaching 6th grade where I went to 6th grade. She married a guy from my hometown. She suggested I come to her class to make myself feel better. Once I got there Harold the boy and I had an immediate affinity. My showing him just a little attention and giving him those comic books prompted him to tell my friend what happened. She called me back to the school where he told me everything. What are the odds of that happening without divine intervention?
I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy.
Thanks Thoth for reading and rating glad you were directed here too.
I can't tell you how sorry I am to read this. There are too many heartbreaking stories like yours.

I too, am glad Trayvon's story is getting the coverage it is. Maybe other while people will stop telling me things aren't as bad as I think they are.

My thoughts are with you. Losing a child is something you get through, but never get least that's my experience.
Thanks Mimetalker that has been my experience as well.
Wow. I can't stand reading this. I still believed that there was at least some attempt, usually, to deliver justice for murder. No one's child should ever be disregarded like that.
[r] Desnee, thank you for sharing your story and the wonderful pictures of your dear Chace. What wonderful spirit, a capacity for joy, emanates from him. My chest is tight and my eyes are burning upon reading the anguish and injustice you have been through. Your struggle was so deeply and harshly unique but also relate-able to many who have presumed basic empathy and justice when it was needed and seemed a natural response from fellow human beings, and they cannot and will not extend it. And when this state of horror is sustained and re-triggered in one by further humanity-challenged humans and the heart has to keep enduring such profound shocks at the same time it has to process such piercing grief, a grief that will thereafter reside in the heart along with the gentle place of strong and precious love for your beloved. I'm so sorry you and your family were challenged so. You are very courageous and generous to share your feelings and thoughts with us here. best, libby
Words cannot do justice enough. I'm speechless.
I can't think of anything to say at all. Just listening here.
Desnee, this is such a deeply painful account. My heart goes out to you. I think you have honored your son and his memory by "doing all the work" (as someone else said) of getting to the bottom of his murder,learning and telling the truth, finally through memorializing him in this story. In the end, you have done him the justice the justice system denied to him. That is an extraordinary accomplishment of love, determination, courage, and strength.
Enlightening look at the justice, or as many would say, the legal system Desnee. No doubt that what we see of Trayvon's parents is the brave public front. I can't really imagine what they are going through, but from your own experience you've given me a much better insight.
Sadly, it isn't news when a cop isn't interested in "justice".
To most of them it's a badge and a gun which means they can demand the "Respect" they have no desire to earn. Law Enforcement Professionals are a far cry from the "Andy Taylors" I knew growing up in a small town in the '50s. We had our Barnys as well, but they never killed anyone. Prosecutors are worse. Just loking for someone who they can make "look good " for it, and if one isn't standing right there, oh well, They still get paid. I would say I can't imagine your pain, but I can imagine it, and I know I've never felt anything close to it.

The problem I see is that of putting too much emphasis on Black vs White. They are all our children, and none of them deserve to be murdered by cops or cop wannabes, or treated as if they aren't important enough for an effort to dispense Justice.

sadly, it is the pervasive attitude of Daryl Gates, "You "Civilians" are all guilty of something, we just haven't caught you yet" ( and when we catch we'll kill without any fear of being charged with us)

Who indeed will guard us from our guardians?

I'm so sorry for your loss
This is one of the saddest stories I've ever read. Thank you for having the courage to share it with us.
I am stunned and full of grief myself. Fernsy's post brought me here, but I'm glad I read this. Please take this post as a beginning and try to put together a short story. This is a beautiful testament to your son, your grief, and the terrible investigation practice that followed. Beautiful and sad and real....
As Donegal mentioned, this eloquent account is an extraordinary memoriam to Chace, may He r.i.p. My prayers and heart go out to You and Yours.

What sadness . . . I often must turn ...
Sadness can Be almost unbearable . . .
I felt your pain. We who are human feel.
Care is Courage.
Take Care. O Pain.
You hang in there.
The Thirteenth Psalm - To the Chief Musician -
How long (O Lord) shall I forgotten be?
What? ever?
How long wilt thou hide thy hidden face from me
How long shall I consult with careful sprite
In anguish?
How long shall I with foes' triumphant might
Thus languish?
Behold me Lord, let to thy hearing creep
My crying.
Nay, give me eyes, and light, lest that I sleep
In dying:
Lest my foe brag, that in my ruin he
And at my feet fall they joy that, troublous, me
No, no, I trust thee, and joy in thy
Great pity:
Still therefore of thy graces shall be my
Song's ditty
You know . . .
ref fernsy etc:
No fair justice
I'll no tell all
But take care
We grieve
Bless you
Desnee, I am so sorry about your son. You are a hero for seeking justice on his behalf. Never give up.
While I am horrified that your child was murdered, I was puzzled as to why he wasn't living with you? You were wintering in Aiken, SC, had just returned to Elmont, NY, and your son was living with your grandmother in Gary, Indiana. Why weren't you caring for and taking responsibility for your child? Had the court revoked your parental rights?
I hope your family can find justice and heal, although if I were you, I would fear there would be no healing, only pain.
There is no way to put a good spin on this. Incompetence, bigotry, or just pain laziness is no excuse for what happened to you and thousands of other mothers and fathers that go through this. Now these states are making it easier to get guns and easier to kill and claim self defense. The NRA have used their money and access to change the guns laws in almost every conservative state and they are working overtime to make it nation-wide. I am so sorry about your son.
OMG is this was me I would have a very hard time dealing with it. Hope you have the courage to reform your life and proper doing things that might heal the difficult areas.
I am so sorry, Desnee. xo
This is one of the saddest things I have ever read. I am so sorry for your loss. I don't understand how the police and prosecutor can live with themselves. The photos of your son reveal him to be a lovely and loving person. I am honored you shared them with us.
To Confused - what a low, vile thing to write. Your comment is inexcusable. The only appropriate response here is to offer your sympathies, outrage and horror at her son's death and subsequent lack of justice for his murder (just in case you never received proper instruction in how to act.)
I experienced a similar tradgedy. My bright, ambitious, 23-year-old cousin Corey was murdered 16 years ago in May. If only words could comfort...
I can't begin to imagine the horror that you experienced. I hope that no parent has to endure the nightmare of a system that bases it's concern for justice on a basis of race, wealth, or religion.
Confused 803 is vile. Just found out that George Zimmerman's father was a magistrate judge and his mother a court clerk. Hmmmmmmmm.

I am so sorry for your loss, and once again thank you for sharing such a personal story. Chace was a beautiful boy. I've had my own frustrations with the justice system, and I must say I admire (and am amazed at) the hopeful and positive outlook you've been able to maintain on life after going through an experience like this that strikes at the core of the society we live in. Thanks you again for sharing this story.
Desnee, I don't know how I have missed this post until now, but OMG! I am so moved by your story I can barely compose a rational response. I have just responded to a post that asked why black people "never get up in arms about black on black crime." Amazingly, what I said parallels your piece, without the extraordinarily sad details. I am going back to that post and direct him to this one. Your son was so beautiful in appearance and I'll bet his spirit matched. I'm so sorry.

Here is the link to the post I mentioned:
Tears for you and your beautiful son. The heartache is palpable and I wish I had some words. Bravely written.
I can't even begin to imagine how one deals with the loss of a child, let alone in such a violent way! I hope you keep getting your story out there so that people do not forget that justice is not being served for everyone and that we must not give up the fight until it is.
I cannot imagine how one deals with the loss of such an integral part of their own self - my heart breaks for you and your son.

Social media has given a voice to those who would otherwise never be heard, and I hold with you the intention that it will serve to create actual justice for all, not just those with money.
How brave you were, and are. I admire the way you fought to make some justice for your son, and so sorry you had to fight alone. Sharing this.
I really like to address everyone individually but the response is a little overwhelming so please forgive my thanking you as a group. I will try to get around to thanking everyone probably through messages. I have to say the response here is what I hope it is whenever we hear about murder, because really one person physically dies, but a part of every person who loved them dies as well. I have replaced all the bad memories with the joy he brought me. I'm hoping one day Trayvon's parents are able to take that much back from his killer.
From one mother to another, my deepest sympathy. I sat with the family of one of my former students, Aaron, during the trial of his murderers. It was his mother's efforts that brought the guilty to justice. She did as you did--she went to the kids. They knew and they finally helped her identify Aaron's best friend as the shooter. The boy had been manipulated and hopped up on drugs provided by a friend's mother. Aaron was going to testify against her son in court. Too many sad stories. Too many children sacrificed. Aaron was sometimes mistaken for Black or Hispanic, but he was American Indian.
Confused 803 though I think you rude, most 19 year olds I know choose to go where they want. However he did die with a train ticket to NY in his possession. Do you generally assume that Black mothers have lost their parental rights?
Heartbreaking this-I am so, so sorry for your loss.
@confused 803-You may be confused in 803 different ways but your one and only comment on OS provides sufficient evidence of your IQ. I hope you are able to find your way back under that rock.
Heartbreaking!!! Totally heartbreaking!!!
Your post should have been titled: "Justice For a Select Few".
There is rarely justice for one considered white-trash, redneck, river-rat, etc. either.
The members of my family's current generation no longer live by the river, although some are still considered redneck, white-trash.
Neither of my daughters are blond, but they are "pretty little white girls", so if one of them went missing, law enforcement would leave no stone unturned until they were found. If one was raped or killed, law enforcement would quickly find the person(s) responsible and they would be in prison before they had time to blink 10 times.
A little black or Hispanic girl or boy, eh, it would take more time to find them, or the murderer, assuming they were ever found.
No life is more important than another.
This makes me livid, sick to my stomach.
The murderer(s) of Chace, Trayvon, so many others before them and the ones who will be victims after them (we know there will be countless more) should at least be convicted on theft charges, because the families, friends, the world in general has been and will be robbed of precious, beautiful, loving souls. It's almost a blessing to not know how many ways they could have made this world a better place.
I'm sure you are sick and tired of hearing people say "I can imagine how you feel". No, unless it has happened to someone, no one can imagine how you feel. I'm also sure you have heard "You are so strong, I wouldn't be able to handle it". What other choice is there, lay down on the freeway, let yourself be run down by a semi-truck? Not an option when there are still people who love you, depend on you.
Few would be strong enough to sit down and type out the words you did.
I hope the pain will eventually stop being so raw for you.
God bless you for sharing this with us.
First, I want to tell you I'm so sorry you lost your child. I cannot imagine nor will I tell you I know what your are feeling because I don't and hope I never do. Chace sounds like a wonderful talented young man and that his life was cut short over some inconsequential amplifier by unthinking selfish humanbeings is an atrocity.

I wish I could say I am surprised by the detective and police dept., but in having my own dealings with them, the only thing I can say is justice is sold to the highest bidder. I am sorry you were made to feel that your loss was insignificant. You didn't deserve that, nor did your son.

Thank you for sharing your story today. I applaud you for your strength, because I don't know if I would have had it. I wish much healing for you and your family.
I read this at work today but could not comment. As a mother who has also had to make the decision for her child once brain dead, I feel that part of your pain. The rest angers me for you and for all parents who have buried thier children too soon and no one seemed to care. I am so very sorry for your loss, you have written this with such grace I would be proud to know you.
I am sorry your son is gone, for any reason, but I am sorrier that you have had to face what you have had to face. Telling your story here may make the difference to other mothers, other sisters, other brothers, that they need to speak up and persist, to pursue. Sadly, for many, there is little justice to be found in the world. I hope things are starting to change for the better, and if that is the benefit of social media, then wonderful. 20 years has changed a lot of possibilities to be heard and seen.
@Oryoki Bowl exactly 20 years has brought us into each other's lives in ways we would have never guessed. I would have used whatever was at my disposal to make his case known. I think when parents, siblings, children, or whomever find that they can't get justice they need to utilize the medium, because people are listening and acting. There may be some hope for us yet!
This is so very sad. How fathomlessly difficult it must be to survive such a terrible loss and to be surrounded by people in power that didn't care. It is heartbreaking. I am just grateful that you have survived and that your voice rises so that we all can hear, really hear you. Loud and clear. What you have written makes a difference. You have shown us love by sharing this and I send it back to you twofold.
Desnee, I'm so grateful this was on the front page and I was able to read it. My heart goes out to you and, as a mom, I'll mourn for your beautiful son as I'm mourning right now for Trayvon.

I am so choked up right now, I'm not thinking straight. I thought I had words to add to this, but they won't come. You are a courageous woman and this is some remarkable writing. May the memories of your wonderful son bring you peace.
@Daniel what's really sad is I found out that Harold was later killed too. I never told the police about him for fear for his life.
What a LOVELY face in that new avatar!!!

Makes your story even more poignant.
@old new lefty I'm glad you found some anyway ;-)
@Erica K I'm far from a hero, but Trayvon's mom is right this is about wrong and right.
@asia rein thank you very much my family deeply appreciates your kind thoughts.
@scanner did you see that in Wisconsin a boy was killed because he was at a party that the police broke up he thought they were chasing him. He hides on someone's enclosed porch bam gets killed. They have the same secure domain or stand your ground law, but guess who isn't protected? If a fireman is trying to rescue you from a burning building and you shoot them that is covered under the law. Only police are exempt but EMTs and Firemen aren't. How crazy is that?
@Thank you Algis I'm at peace.
@Joan H thank you xo
@cc darling greetings and thank you for your comment and for what you said to 803.
@bobbet from your lips to God's ears. That is also my wish.
@fernsy I know can you say working the system? OMG
@Ted apparently the one thing the "justice" system is good at is giving people trouble or walking around difficult murder cases. And the best thing they are good at is bringing people out of the woodwork. Thank you all very much.
I am so sorry for your suffering and for your loss. How terribly sad and so unfair......
What a terrible loss, what a tragedy to live with. I'm so sorry. r.
Desnee, I am so sorry for your loss. Your story hurts my heart, and even more that I know if we changed places, my blond, blue-eyed, freckled son would have a different experience in the justice system than yours did. It's not right, and I'm so sorry for that.

Your son was a beautiful boy.
This sounds like real travesty, and I am so sorry to hear about it (I am the mother of a shooting victim myself). We have got to root out this two-tiered system of justice that still surfaces. Hope your heart can heal (but know it never will completely).
First of all I have to say that OS "members" with no profiles, no friends and no picture are known as Trolls. That would apply to Confused803. Your measured response reflects so much dignity!

There are many of us out here in America who know the face of injustice and bigotry first hand. Sometimes I wonder how I am still alive. I have had several close encounters with death. I don't know if I was clever or just lucky. One thing I do know is who I should not trust. Even though I have white skin, I know from experience, that justice is not meant for everyone in America. When I see a uniform or a badge, my first inclination is not to feel safe. I feel threatened instead. It's just something I'll never shake.

Your son's picture reminds me of my Godchild, Adam. I know what happened is a part of you at the cellular level now. That it will never go away. But I hope kind words from others can at least provide some hope and support. I am so sorry for your loss and your pain!
Excellent perspective on how the police just ignored the most important source of information of all - your family. So sorry you lost your boy. My six mixed-race grandkids have been, and will ALL get 'the talk' from me, their white grandma. The oldest, and only boy, turns 18 in May - of course he is the light of my life, and this latest murder chills all of our hearts.

As whites become the minority, I worry - so many seem to feel backed into a corner, the worst kind of trapped animal. And our pervasive gun culture has spun out of control. All we can do is love our children and grandchildren - it is their best protection. Namaste.
Desnee,tell me,how could you survive such horrible trial?
I think I might have gone insane .
The fact that your story of your beautifu,happy boy child stands beside that of trayvon,could become a sign of solidarity forthe fight for justice.Oh,my God,how many people have to die,especially black ones in the long history of murder from the day of capture of their homeland to this day.They sum up to millions by now,I would think.How could you ever come over this?There is never any forgetfulness of this horrific nightmare.
This beautiful child of yours is telling us that there are much more values to live by than hate and murder.
It is so very important that cases like these are wide spread so petitions might eventually bring about the change.

Rated with love for you,your son and your family.
I think that photo of your little boy will stay in our memories always. There's really no other way to say it but that he looks like an angel.

The courage it took to write this, much less to live through it, is astounding and humbling.
So many countless injustices done for no reason that makes sense. I was a missionaries kid in Africa for the 1st ten yrs of my life. I was very sheltered in that all our community loved each other. At 11, when I came to America I was teased, and called names. I was shocked, even as a little kid, that everyone hated people in a country they knew nothing about.
Prejudice is learned, it doesn't just pop out of the woodwork. I am so saddened to hear about the loss of your son, no matter the time passed, this pain will always be there. I also feel your pain is overshadowed by the deep love you have for your child. Such a beautiful boy, and even though the world seems to not believe anymore, you will see him again. Being sorry for your family's frustration and anger is not enough. As a mother of grown boys, my heart goes out to you. Thank-you for this write.
I appreciate your writing about a mother's worst fear. Your story is chilling and appalling in its rawness. Your Chace sounds like a beautiful young man.
Your story makes me so sad and so angry. I want to join in Art James psalmist's lament. I weep for you and your son. I weep for all our children because the cracks they can slip through are becoming gaping chasms. I agree with you that social media may become our greatest weapon in attaining social justice because it bypasses the corrupt and overloaded systems we can no longer depend upon. Thank you for this courageous story. Your son was so beautiful.
What a heartwrenching story, Desnee, I am so sorry it is your family's...
Your boy had an adorable smile.
I hope you might consider writing about him more.
I saw the picture of your beautiful boy and knew what the post was about--couldn't read it until today. It's a wicked world and I am sorry that no one in the police department cared enough to bring the murderer to justice. I can only add my admiration for your courage and sadness at your loss to the other commenters.
My apology for bringing my love & strife affair with a nasty Salon editor to this (but beautiful expression and sad post ref ) Death/Grief, and `
Justice . . .
I Relaunched.
Kerry did
make me
I saw Michell
Holt y Roybal
Who do I groan to?
Eric Holder? Joan?
Pa Pa of Bill Gates?
My apology for bringing my love & strife affair with a nasty Salon editor to this (but beautiful expression and sad post ref ) Death/Grief, and `
Justice . . .
I Relaunched.
Kerry did
make me
I saw Michell
Holt y Roybal
Who do I groan to?
Eric Holder? Joan?
Pa Pa of Bill Gates?
I think comment smell.
stuck `gin,
My apology for bringing my love & strife affair with a nasty Salon editor to this (but beautiful expression and sad post ref ) Death/Grief, and `
Justice . . .
I Relaunched.
Kerry did
make me
I saw Michell
Holt y Roybal
Who do I groan to?
Eric Holder? Joan?
Pa Pa of Bill Gates?
I think comment smell.
stuck `gin,
3rd try. Kerry speak.
He a Hell's Angel, huh?
He a nasty beast brute!
Just such incredibly riviting writing about an unspeakable tragedy and a horrendous lack of official interest and justice. You have my deepest sympathy and my total admiration.

Much as I share the grief and outrage over Trayvon's murder, I've been having a hard time reconciling the firestorm of interest in one child's death with the fact that so many others, equally innocent, are killed daily for the same ugly reason but in complete obscurity. I applaud his brave parents for igniting a national outcry, but as helpful as social media is, we all know how often something else comes along to grab attention away.

That his killer, and your son's are walking free is a damning indictment of the world we continue to inhabit. No matter how genuine their intentions, you show us that social media should be used to shine spotlights on the hate-filled murderers and the indifferent justice systems instead of supporters in hoodies.

You're in my prayers.
What a sad story, beautifully told, at just the right time and place. Let us all hope for justice. Thanks and peace be with you.
Justice will be done! Everyone should rest assured that Zimmerman will be prosecuted. The admitted facts (in his own words) and the plain language of the statute assure he is toast.

 Thank you for this perspective.

 This might also interest you. See Trayvon Martin: Defense a Pig-Sty Beneath a Racist Facade?
Sorry, justice will be done for this lad's family. Your story is one I know all to well. The problem is not this Florida law, but that it is NOT enforced as written but used as a bigot's bed-sheet to hide under. As in your case the law is ignored or not enforced. Again, Everyone should rest assured that Zimmerman will be prosecuted. The admitted facts (in his own words) and the plain language of the statute assure he is toast.

 Thank you for this perspective.

 This might also interest you. See Trayvon Martin: Defense a Pig-Sty Beneath a Racist Facade?
It's heartening that so many people have responded to this story. Slavery and its aftermath have been such a tragedy for this country, it is just heartbreaking. Years ago I worked as a substitute teacher in gang-infested schools, within 100 miles of Gary, in Illinois. The saddest thing for me was seeing so many nice kids with so much to offer, and so little hope for decent futures.

Thanks for writing this story. We all need to know what it's like on the inside of such tragedies. You make your son immortal.
You have touched an area of my soul with this that I will always not want to be touched like this again.
I am so sorry. I used to think that there were two justice systems in this country: one for the wealthy and one for the rest of us. But, after reading this and following the Trayvon Martin case, I think there are three, the third being for minorities. I could not go to sleep at night if I were any one of these people who failed your son, you, and your family. I am glad that you have hope and that is an inspiring thing for me.
Desnee,I think my words,would be an insult to your ρain.My silence,on the other hand,is not..Thank you for being here.Sometimes all a human must do is just be a human and resρect the fear,the tears,the age,the ρain,the dreams,the feelings of the other.Rated with feelings...Thank you..for reminding me that I have forgotten how to be a human..with a heart.Best regars..and I am sorry..I had my loss too..And it is just like loosing your soul..
I have no words that would suffice, but couldn't let this pass without throwing in my lot with those who sorrow with you.
Stories like yours remind me of why I quit working for lawyers. I simply couldn't handle telling people the truth about how awful our criminal justice system really is.

I wish there were justice for all.
Desnee I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful son. Thank you for being so brave in sharing your story with us.
Btw: I just discovered this: George Zimmerman is a 5 ft 9, 250 pound gorilla who (against Neighborhood Watch rules - another fact they don’t tell us) was packing black Kel Tec 9 mm PF9, a semiautomatic hand gun. With 8 rounds ready to slam pow, pow, pow, pow. The semi-automatic locked breech pistol chambered for the 9MM Luger cartridge was developed with maximum concealability in mind. It’s lightest and flattest 9MM ever made

Trayvon Martin was a cream-puff as a football player (an other fact they have failed to tell you!). No linebacker he was 6ft 3 and mere 140lbs on the day. Skin n bone! His nickname was ''Slimm" and he was armed to the teeth with a bag of Scuttles. What a formidable opponent!

But I’m sure it was that plastic bottle of iced tea that really struck terror in the heart of Zimmerman who ‘stood his ground’ and chased him down and shot him when Travon tried to defend himself.

This is not a question of bad law as much as bad law enforcement. An injustice you are all too familiar with.

Zimmerman is toast. This ‘defense’ is his admission. This one will NOT slip through the cracks. I predict this jury will be instructed that they cannot even entertain this defense. A "directed verdict"

Zimmerman. stripped of the defense will be left with Florida common law self-defense but not this statutes. This defense is Trayvon's silver bullet.
I don't have adequate words but I want you to know I read and heard your story and I stand in awe of your wisdom and your moral and spiritual strength.
Thank you for your words.
Thank you for bringing Chace here, for telling us about him, about his artistry. Thank you for allowing us to walk a while beside you.
Somehow I suspect Chace knew exactly how lucky he was to have you as his mother, to have a love that would love forever. How not to love this lovely one. May your words be heard a thousand fold.
I have continued to read your comments and let me say that I'm pretty sure that Chace knows how many beautifuls souls have commented here and we both thank you all.
You are amazingly brave to write this piece. I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful son, and for the unbelievable injustice done. Things must change, and maybe with the use of social media now, we can all press for that and expose the evils.