Bob Lonsberry

Bob Lonsberry

Want to know more about Bob Lonsberry? Get their official bio, social pages & articles on 570 WSYR!Full Bio



Car Accident

Photo: ugurhan / E+ / Getty Images

    Syracuse sits at a crossroads.


               It can choose grief and reason, or rage and confrontation, gather in pews and prayer meetings, or streets and riots. It can build up, or it can tear down.


               Yesterday morning, on the first day of school, as the buses were beginning to roll and the breakfasts were being eaten, at a trailer park in DeWitt, a stolen Hyundai bore down on a deputy at a high rate of speed. It was suspected in two burglaries in the overnight, and as its occupants had decided to flee, the deputy was directly in its path.


               With nowhere to go and nothing to do.


               But fight or die.


               And he fought. He got off three rounds and the Hyundai veered away.


               Two of the rounds had hit home, each striking a 15-year-old. Young men, young black men, unarmed young black men, shot dead by a cop, a white cop, on the first day of school, a little before 7 in the morning.


               The Hyundai was one of two vehicles stolen the night before from the city. The other was a Kia. The two of them had been used in a couple of smash-and-grabs at smoke shops. Criminals in the overnight. The deputy was at the second smoke shop when the 911 call came in from the trailer park.


               He got there and he got out and the Hyundai and the Kia peeled out and in a moment it was done.


               And that’s where we are today. Shaking our heads in grief and fear.


               Grief that two young lives are lost, and fear of how people will react. Fear of how the activists and the ambulance chasers and the network news will handle this. How they will make it look, how they will make people feel.


               Whether the politicians will see this as a cause for introspection or an opportunity for advancement.


               Because it will be easy for the opportunists at the anchor desk or the Oval Office to twist this into a white cop killing two unarmed black 15-year-olds. That will bring down fire and brimstone on Syracuse and its neighborhoods, and prominence and money to the politicians and activists who can ride the tiger. That will turn this into a cut-and-paste rehash of the narrative of white supremacy and institutional racism and a police culture of oppression and bigotry.


               That would be easy.


               And false.


               Because this isn’t about that.


               This is about the heartbreaking consequences of a world without consequences. This is about the misguided agenda of a political party imposed on the people of New York by the progressives who control the state government and write the state law.


               This is the bitter fruit of the decriminalization of crime.


               In New York, 15-year-olds charged with a crime are, in almost all situations, released with an appearance ticket and face no true sanction for their wrongdoing. In New York, where the theft of Kias and Hyundais has become epidemic among the urban young, stealing a car results in an appearance ticket. In New York, burglary results in an appearance ticket.


               In New York, if you do something wrong, nothing bad happens to you. And where crime isn’t punished, crime flourishes. And in New York, crime is flourishing.


               And so it is that yesterday morning in a stolen car after a night of thieving, on the first day of school, two 15-year-old boys lost their lives. Some will blame the cop, but all should blame the politicians.


               It’s almost as if the politicians write these laws to tempt young people into crime as if seducing them into behaviors that will destroy themselves and their communities is the intent. Bad schools, bad laws, and people blame bad kids, but maybe it’s not truly the kids that are bad. Maybe they are the victims of a rigged system that destroys them in the name of serving them. In the name of protecting black teenagers from racist cops, new laws have coaxed record numbers of black teenagers into criminal conduct, wrecking the lives and ruining the futures of those black teenagers.


               The criminal justice system exists to protect the victim and correct the criminal, to keep us safe from the bad choices of our neighbors, and to encourage our neighbors to make better choices in the future. That is especially true with juvenile criminals. When the home and the culture do not teach proper conduct, the institutions of society must – and that includes the criminal justice system. If you touch the hot stove and burn your fingers, you don’t touch the hot stove again. But if by some foolishness of legislation, you touch the hot stove and it does not burn your fingers, you don’t learn to not touch it.


               And things get worse.


               And nothing is worse than what happened yesterday morning. Not for the boys, not for their families, not for our society. Yesterday was about grief.


               And today must be about honesty. A perfect storm has been created by foolish laws from a distant state capital. The legislators and the party responsible for those laws must fix this problem because it is they, not this deputy, who have blood on their hands.


               That’s the truth of this situation.


               And that is the crossroads Syracuse is at – to accept that truth or to descend into chaos.


               The pastors and the politicians and the reporters will have to decide which road is taken.


               God help us if they get it wrong.


Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content