Bigger investments needed to build young lives

Houston is not Chicago or New Orleans. Houston in not Los Angeles or Oakland. One of the reasons that Houston will not become Fort Apache is the swift work of the Houston Police Department and the partnership that exists between the police and community.

Almost before we could blink, suspects in the murder of New Orleans police Officer Everett Briscoe were in custody. Sadly, Officer Briscoe’s partner also went on to glory before the third suspect could be apprehended. Even if the first two suspects claim they were not the actual shooters, because of the parties’ provision of the law, even if you didn’t pull the trigger in an assault or murder, you are likely to be equally charged as the killer. These young men will be old as Methuselah when they are eligible for parole. It is likely they will wish for Hades after the verdict of the “Hanging Judge and Jury.”

This tragedy is a teachable moment for young people and citizens. First, it tells us that the grim reaper can come at blinding speed in the circumstances that are calm and serene. Before you can gulp your craft beer and attack your appetizer, the adversary is demanding your soul. How tenuous life is.

I will never forget when 15-year-old Marsai Murry was shot at the Hightower vs. Willow Ridge football game. It is true that bullets have no name for Marsai was not a target. I will never forget that the assailant said before his sentencing. “I am not a fiend; the prosecutor has pictured me as a monster, but I am not that guy. I made a mistake, and I will be forever sorry.” Nevertheless, another child and another man has gone.

In the Galleria attempted robbery / murder last month, one of the accused robbers accosted another patron at gun point. The patron reported that the robber said to her, and I paraphrase, “you don’t have to get shot if you cooperate.” Since the advent of New Jack City, a new type of street criminal has emerged. Although the victim cooperates and surrenders their jewels, they are often popped.

In the late 1990’s, Kashmere High School honor roll student and star athlete was with his girlfriend, who was  visiting his home and watching the Lakers playoff game. After the game ended, he walked her to the nearby bus stop across from his house. Three brothers, 25, 18, and 17 were carousing about and decided to rob Tramaine. Believe it or not, this was their third or fourth felony attempt for that day. Tramaine offered no resistance, but he was executed at the bus stop. The young men were eligible for the death penalty, but the mom of the deceased had no stomach for more carnage. Only the 17-year-old escaped life imprisonment.

Unless we get a grip, perception will become reality. The “Wild WEST” can reign in Houston. Houston is the city where America’s urban future is to be worked out. Bigger investments are needed to build young lives rather than repair and incarcerate them. Budgets must expand for modern and smart policing. Response times can go down, but more dollars are necessary to expand the force. However, a bigger factor is community leaders and parents building strong communities where youth can taste their productive futures.

Officer Everitt and friend, Dyrin “D.J.” Riculfy, were visiting transplanted ZULU Social and Charity Club members in Houston. The Zulus are known for their second line parades and their civic responsibility projects. While he came to Houston to vacation, perhaps we can pour a libation in the name of the slain officers and summon some courage to do our job in making this city safe for locals and our-of-towners.

Let’s mourn with the victims’ families, salute Chief Finner and the HPD homicide detectives and stop living puny lives. There is no time left. Don’t just live a “long” life, live a “quality” life because we never know how close or when the grim reaper will close the distance.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

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Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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