City Desk

Three Shootings Linked

News 4 says it's all connected: A non-fatal August shooting, the robbery and fatal shooting hours later of of Catholic University student Neil Godleski, and the killing of 16-year-old Prince Okorie last month in Petworth.

Sources told News 4 last week that "friends" of 20-year-old Eric Foreman, who's been arrested for allegedly shooting Godleski, suspected Okorie had "snitched" to cops. According to an arrest warrant for Raymond Roseboro, Roseboro and several others approached Okorie at about 4:30 p.m. in the 800 block of Delafield Place NW on Nov. 30. But it was Roseboro who cops say pulled the trigger.

Okorie, a Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services (DYRS) ward, had been placed at a home just a mile away from his old neighborhood—which, it can be assumed, put him in danger. Roseboro himself was in and out of the juvenile system. If he's guilty of murder, that experience doesn't seem to have done him much good. Ongoing reporting by Washington City Paper's Jason Cherkis points out that DYRS has a lot to answer for regarding its approach to helping juvenile offenders in the District. But Okorie's death is about more than the failure of a single city department.

The District has a habit of ignoring the struggles of its youth until blood is spilled. In the interim, life in the city is all about new development projects, tighter noise ordinances, and increased police foot patrols in up-and-coming neighborhoods. As Washingtonians examine and address the problem of juvenile violence, one wonders what would happen if we could harness the awesome power of D.C.'s self-regard.

Roseboro has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec 21.

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  • JM

    "one wonders what would happen if we could harness the awesome power of D.C.'s self-regard"

    What is this supposed to mean? That we law-abiding yuppies are somehow to blame for the predatory tendencies of DC youth? I'm completely uninterested in further coddling of violent youth offenders, or in giving them additional social programs beyond free education, food stamps, and medical care. Reforms are needed at DYRS to keep the kids locked up, period.

  • Grumpy

    Here's the reality: a kid who is being raised by the system has to fend for himself because the adults that brought him into this world failed him.

    Now, it may be hard for some of us to switch places with that kid and see things thru our own eyes but just imagine what life is like for kids like this trying to survive DAILY...Left to his or her own devices, this kid is gonna do whatever to survive and this system ain't nothing nice. So the kids becomes a criminal out of necessity, he hooks up with other kids like him same as a suburb kid hooks up with other suburb kids, etc.

    Now it's easy for me to sit here and judge the kid, judge the system, lament the failings of the sperm/uterus donors who breed the unwanted, etc.

    But what if I was that kid?

    What would I do to make it given the fucked up circumstances and the lack of love, guidance, direction, financial support, etc. from adults? What would I have become?

    That's a scary ass thought man...

  • http://google kizirk1

    if they can't work and make it then they are going to steal and take it. southeast-northwest-southwest-northeast-prince georges county. just the way it is.

  • Joe Carmona

    Those who commit violent crimes, youth or adult, meaning that they take the life of another individual or leave them paralyzed should be locked away and never let out again. Rehabilitation of violent offenders is a fool's errand. Naive bleeding heart liberals are responsible for the innocent being killed in this city. Put these monsters away and throw away the key. Phil Mendelson is a weak judiciary chairman.

  • DCExpat

    Read up on the National Footsoldier Network regarding Godleskis killing for another perspective....

  • Rick Mangus

    These are ANIMIALS stop trying to psychoanalyze them or try understanding them, they need to be taken out of the range of good and hard working people for good. In plain words, put them to death!

  • Adam

    National Black Foot Soldier Network is the same BS as any white power page. Some dope heard about it on the news and decided to put it up there.

  • Zo

    R.I.P. PRINCE ,

  • ihatemuseums

    Thank you for covering this -- not only is it a tragedy for Prince and his family, but it is a very worrying sign about MPD's ability to protect witnesses. Prince should never have been left vulnerable like this. Whether or not he was actually an informant, they clearly thought he was for some reason, so he should have been protected.

  • Grumpy

    Mangus, your approach solves nothing. The way to fix a problem is to understand what causes it. Screaming out 'animals' is wasted emotions.

    I think some of you don't get that you can analyze a situation without taking a side as to right or wrong. No is excusing this dumbazz from killing this innocent man. Hell, that could have been me or any of us.

    It disturbs me that so many kids are comfortable in being violent. It further disturbs me that I may have to kill one of them for fucking with me and mine. This man was killed by a kid that didn't have a conscience. That kid's friends then killed another kid to 'protect' him, again no conscience shown. This epidemic HAS to be dealt with cause current measures are not working. I don't even know if anything can be done...most glorified Gangsters started the same way and Capone and those Tommy Gun gangsters are long since gone and here we are.

    I didn't grow up in that life; I don't know foster care, group home, parental abuses, etc. so I can only try to analyze it to see where effective changes can be made.

    We all want better but it ain't gonna happen by magic; some action HAS to take place and that takes thinking and doing, not empty yelling into the wind...

  • Rick Mangus

    'Grumpy', I am sick and tired of people like you saying understand these bastard! The way to haul this problem is to eliminate the problem. I could care less about their parenting because these bastards are from generations of losers who think that life and society owes them something! Liberals perpetuate the problem by coddiling with the "I feel you pain",crap! We have a segment of society in this city who are slaves and their slave masters are guilt ridden white liberal who keep them down with the approach of 'we know whats best for you'!

  • Rick Mangus

    Correction: halt, not haul!

  • Teressa Wallace

    The issue is the life of Prince Okorie. His life is just as valuable as that of any "yuppie". Prince was a 16 year old boy who had information about the murder of a Catholic University student. He did the right thing, despite knowing that helping the police would put his life (and his family's)in danger, and gave them information.

    How did the city thank him? They put him in LAME protective custody a mile from his house. He still walked the same streets, went to the same school-only now the gang members knew he must have gone to the police because he was in "protective custody". It would have been better if the social services had done nothing for him! They painted a big target on his back with their stupid actions.

    Prince was a good young man, he regularly attended church with his mother and sister. He was smart. He was sweet. He had courage, and did what many other people would not have the courage to do. He stood up to the bad guys.

    The system failed Prince.

    And it failed his murderer. He had been in and out of the juvenile system for years and should have had harsher intervention earlier. We do not help people by not making them take REAL consequences for their actions. His parents and the community failed him also. The inner city community in DC, in large part, (in movies, music, etc) glorifies sex and violence. Children raised by single parents are multiple times more likely to drop out of school, get pregnant outside of marriage, go to prison, use drugs, etc. Marriage matters in raising happy and productive children. Some people manage to do it well, but the statistics show that most single parents don't. The culture of unwed children in DC is staggering and no government can overcome the problems that arise from the breakdown of the family unit in society. We must work on basics and not throw money down the drain with "youth rehabilitation programs" that are largely ineffective. Build the family. Teach marriage.

    This whole situation is a tragedy. We should all mourn the loss of a young boy who in his own way was a hero. The City of Washington pays lip service to caring about its youth, but this is just one more example of how they discourage them from doing the right thing. One young boy can not fight both local gangs and a whole city, and culture's bad policies. We, the living, can.

    We all need to stand up and speak-even if it is politically incorrect. The truth will set us free. Or, we can keep watching our youth die.

  • noodlez

    CHURCH!!!

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