Taylor attended last Friday’s game, challenges DA on ‘don’t care’ 8/30/2013

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 30, 2013

Taylor attended last Friday’s game, challenges DA on ‘don’t care’

(Editor’s note: Donna Taylor’s column, The Dark Side, appeared in Thursday’s edition of The Southern Reporter. It is reprinted here with her permission.)

By Donna Taylor

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Our community is once again mourning the loss of a teenager who was shot and killed after last Friday night’s football game on the North Panola School campus. 
  Roderick Bobo, 15, of Sardis was killed in what has been described by District Attorney John Champion as a “gunfight.”       

One other person was shot in the hand and one in the leg, according to Champion. Law enforcement had information before the game started that there could possibly be some trouble at the game.

    Sheriff Dennis Darby was at the game during the first quarter and two more deputies showed up after he left. I was sitting in the end zone on the north end of the field, where I usually sit because I can’t walk the side-lines the way I used to.

    I observed the deputies, a male and a female, as they entered the through the gate at the end zone. What made them stand out to me, is the female was suited up in a bullet proof vest and a service weapon on her hip and one strapped to her leg. I thought it was odd, but then I thought maybe they’re just making rounds and stopped by to catch some of the game.

    Little did I know they were there to try and prevent what eventually happened after the game ended and fans were spread out everywhere.

  I got information that the call came in about gunfire erupting on the campus at 10:38. I didn’t know at the time, but me and my daughter Bonnie and her two youngest sons, were in traffic trying to exit the campus when the “gunfight” broke out.

    A deputy was right behind us as we slowly creeped from the field in heavy foot traffic from exiting fans and the band. As we got closer to the exit to get on Hwy. 51, we saw a deputy walking and his patrol car off to the side with the lights flashing. We noticed him go towards the band hall and he began to walk just a little bit faster. I told Bonnie it must be a fight nearby.

    Soon after that, we went through the first gate leading to the field and the deputy who was behind us, jumped the curb, went around us and sped across the grass. That’s when I said there must have been some gunfire, yet we never heard it. When I looked back on the incident, I realized we were still on the campus when the deadly shooting took place totally unaware that a young man was losing his life.

    As we ventured on to Hwy. 51 going south, we met another deputy with lights flashing and sirens blaring. On our way to Sonic to get some food after the game, we met another deputy and an ambulance, both wide open and sirens and lights flashing. We began to panic because her oldest son was still there and my youngest daughter, Aundrea and her three children were still there – the oldest, a freshman, is on the football team.    Thank God for this modern technology called cell phones. Bonnie started calling everybody to find out what happened and to see if they were all right.

    Thankfully, they were. I got a cold chill in that humid weather and just felt that something really bad had happened. My intuition was right.

  On Saturday morning, I opened my Facebook page and read some of the posts from people who witnessed some of the mayhem. A friend of mine was parked near the grey Chrysler that was riddled with bullets. I was horrified reading her status as she thanked God for protecting her through that reign of terror. I was glad she was okay but saddened that a mother is burying her child. I understand it was total chaos.

    A press conference was held on Monday at the David Bryan Justice Complex in Batesville and I attended it along with broadcast journalists from Memphis and a reporter from the Commercial Appeal. District Attorney John Champion and Sheriff Darby fielded questions from all of us. I was doing pretty good learning some of the details until DA Champion said (paraphrasing here) that their biggest roadblock was that (direct quote) “People are scared or just don’t care.”

    He was referring to the public giving information about that incident and others in the past. The people inside my head had assembled at the roundtable and began screaming “What did you just say? We don’t care?” I did everything within my power to contain them, telling them to calm down, “don’t y’all show out in front of these cameras.”

  So, I”m gonna let JuneFaire speak now. She’s the militant yet peaceful one who resides in my head and gets me in a world of trouble when I can’t stop her from saying what’s on her mind. She demands an introduction and “Heerrre’s JuneFaire”

    “Hey Mr. DA, contrary to what you said, we do care about what happens in the ‘hood. We live there and deal with this crap sometimes on a daily basis. You’re watching this from your luxury skybox while we’re viewing it from the sidelines and at courtside. I challenge you to come down out of that skybox and spend a couple of weeks in the trenches with us. You wouldn’t last two days. If you saw some of the carnage that goes on, you’d change your tune. Mr. D.A., we have a gang problem and it’s been smoldering for years.

    It has reached its fever pitch now and you have the audacity to say “we don’t care?”
    Are you serious?

    Do you think I enjoy teaching four, five and seven year olds what to do when they hear the battle cry “GUNHSOTS?”  and they automatically drop to the floor no matter which part of the house they’re in?

     Do you think we don’t care when we’re awakened at three and four in the morning to a gunfight in our neighborhood by people we don’t know? Seriously, do you think that?

     Evidently you do. Do you know why the citizens have doubts about speaking to law enforcement? Are you familiar with the phrase, “Snitches get stitches?”

    Come on in the ‘hood and spend a couple of days with us.

    All of these uses of the word “us” only applies to the person writing this because she has several personalities inside her head and they are all upset with that statement you made.This is JuneFaire and I’m out.

  Well, folks, there you have it from one of the many souls I carry with me every day. These views are that of D. Taylor and not this newspaper.

    Any backlash should be directed at me and my crew inside my head. The others who live there are Birdie, the lawyer, a Native American (because I have some Native American ancestors) and his name is “He Who Doesn’t Speak.” He was holding up a sign that read “Shame on you” for saying that. Judy, the political one, has no comment. She’s afraid of going to jail if she speaks what she is actually thinking about that “just don’t care” statement. It’s all expletives.

We do care.
Peace y’all!