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I read your article on the shooting at Ballou Senior High School (“Incident No. 1113,” 3/5). I must say that was a very dramatic and well-written article, and it helped me to know the main people that were involved, James “J-Rock” Richardson and Thomas “T.J.” Boykin. It made me understand their environment and their poorly administered school, Ballou, along with making me sympathetic to both sides of the story.
However, the Washington City Paper is a city paper, and anybody living in the city or anywhere close to the city already knows these things. So I know the topic and understand the history behind it was very enticing and you just had to hop on it, but glorifying this incident did nothing to help out the situation. I am sorry, but I didn’t see any solutions in this article, and it was no more development than the other 40 previous articles published between you and the Washington Post.
Yes, T.J. is now incarcerated, but anyone living in the city knows someone who has been or is locked up, so we already understand the consequences of our actions. What we don’t understand is why are we beefing in the first place. Why is it that two males of the same culture and heritage cannot get along because they live a couple blocks from each other? Why is it that the police were called to Ballou a total of 192 times over 13 months? There is a bigger problem here than Condon Terrace and Barry Farms.
Now, you had a good story—I’m pretty sure the Washington City Paper attracted many readers, such as myself. All I ask is now can we get a story with some answers, some solutions, a road map to where we need to go and how to get there?