Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on February 22, 2008 · Page 6
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page 6

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Friday, February 22, 2008
Page 6
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6A FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2008 DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE Wrong place, wrong time, teens' families, friends say ALAN MORREIL and STEPHANIE VEALE STAFF WRITERS Charlene Coley spoke of her grandson, Brent, as a young man who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Brent Coley and Da'marri Shaw, both 15-year-old students at Charlotte High School, were fatally shot Tuesday night. The youths were inside a house at 334 Wilkins St. with other people when another group burst into the house and opened fire. Police have not arrested anyone in connection with the shootings. "I know Brent didn't hang around on Wilkins Street," said Charlene Coley of Rochester. "He was a happy child. He got along with everyone." His grandmother also remembered taking Coley and his siblings brother Johnell and sisters Tamesha and Shamaria to the amusement park formerly known as Darien Lake, in Genesee County. "If no one else would go on the fast rides with him, he would go on by himself," she said. "He loved amusement rides." After the gunfire erupted, Shaw was found outside the., Wilkins Street house and Coley' was found a block away, in front of a house on Friederich Park. A dozen or so people gathered Thursday outside those homes for a prayer vigil. The group had come to pray for peace and for an end to violence, a routine they have practiced at other city homicide scenes. While they held hands and prayed on Wilkins Street, two girls approached and placed a teddy bear in the driveway, adding to a makeshift memorial. Your community connection gets better. Specialty mrd Tri tips $4.99lb. Delmonico Steaks $4.29ib. Chicken Breast $1.39ib. M-F 10:00AM-6PM; iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii O CZ - CShevroUt v:j j- presidents' Tay Sale!! : (Zheviolct vSave Thousands off MSRP: on 2007 & ;. Biggest Sale f Save y I of the YearA'-, Mort f V 'OP , jj. : W t iiiii.i run ,. i'f I I . . '.r,.jf iV Iff t I i ' nvULu I UN K i , ' - " nni I 'lixo TOm. Set wltMimai for details E" a'aa "It's a tragedy," said Alexis Harvey, 14, a student at Charlotte High School. "They didn't deserve it. They used to be in my classes. Da'marri just called me Monday." LaNeisha Hines, also 14 and a Charlotte student, said Da'marri and Brent were her friends. "It's a wakeup call for all young men, to try to live life right," she said. "No one deserves a bullet in the chest. It's unbelievable." Police have not released details about what Coley and Shaw were doing at 334 Wilkins St. "We all make stupid choices, but we usually live long enough to learn from them," said Joan Roby-Davison, executive director of Group 14621 Community Association Inc. "Whatever their reasons for being there, it should not have cost them their life." The Police Department's investigation continued Thursday, though no arrests were made, said Executive Deputy Chief George Markert. It was too early to speculate on a motive for the incident, he said, and police do not know whether Shaw and Co-ley were specific targets. "There is nothing I'm aware of that screams out one way or another," Markert said. On Thursday, Monroe County District Attorney Michael Green identified Shaw as a "potential witness" in the case involving the homicide of community activist James Slater last fall. Slater was robbed and killed on Oct. 4, about four blocks from where Shaw was gunned down and it was one of the killings that helped set off the city's Zero Tolerance crackdown on crime. Green said he was not aware of 620 Stone Road Meats "Eresi&fiiT i pounds NY Strip Steaks 3 pounds Boneless Chicken Breast 3 pounds Center Cut Pork Chops All for $26.99 3 pounds Filet Mignon 3 pounds Delmonico Steaks ! pounds NY Strip Steaks All for $49.99 SAT. 9AM-5PM i onnot 2008s! AN AMERICAN -1 KAA m - rm any connection between the Slater and Shaw homicides. A profile page that appeared to belong to Shaw on MySpace .com, a social networking site, included references to "Wilkins N Hudson." That intersection is a few houses down from where he was shot and killed Tuesday night. Shaw's page also made gang references. There is no way to know how much of Shaw's page was created by Shaw himself. It appears the page has been modified in the days since his death, and anyone can gain access to a MySpace page if he or she has the correct password. Throughout the day, Rochester police were stationed at both ends of Wilkins Street, stopping passersby and asking whether they knew anything about the slayings. About 5 p.m., two young women stopped by the memorial in the driveway of 334 Wilkins St. They'd known Shaw "from the 'hood,' " they said. "He didn't bother nobody," said Ashely Holies, 20, of Rochester. "He stayed out of trouble. ... He was a good boy. He used to take care of his nieces." Kindeia Rivers, 25, of Rochester also believed Shaw must have gotten tangled up in a bad situation wrong place, wrong time. The two left candles for Shaw because they "just care about people," Rivers said. "I'd hope somebody would do that for me or my family," she added. Includes reporting by staff writer Brian Sharp. Debate FROM PAGE 1A would meet "without preconditions" but added that the U.S. agenda for such a session would include human rights. They also sparred frequently about health care. Clinton said repeatedly that Obama's plan would leave 15 million Americans uncovered by health insurance. But he, in turn, accused the former first lady of mishandling the issue by working in secrecy when her husband was in the White House. "I'm going to do things differently," he said. "We can have great plans, but if we don't change how the politics is working in Washington, then neither of our plans are going to happen." Clinton went into the debate needing a change in the course of the campaign, and she waited patiently for an opening to try to diminish her rival, seated inches away on the stage. First, she said she had seen a supporter of Obama interviewed recently and unable to name one accomplishment the Illinois senator had on record. McCain FROM PAGE 1A become, romantic." McCain said the account was "not true." Times Executive Editor Bill Keller defended the article, saying in a statement: "On the substance, we think the story stands for itself." It was unclear Thursday what, if any, political fallout the story might cause and whether it would help or hurt McCain's quest for the presidency. Some critics faulted the Times for relying on anonymous sources, retelling old stories about McCain and raising the possibility that the senator and the lobbyist may have had a romantic relationship without providing W 7"" r Iseman more than hearsay. Others said the story provided legitimate information about a presidential candidate. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, McCain's leading rival for the GOP nomination and a Baptist minister, dismissed the paper's allegations. "I take him at his word," Huckabee said. "For me to get into it is completely immaterial." The Times said that some of Wilkins , FROM PAGE 1A Wilkins St., a house that was not of particular concern to police or city officials before Tuesday. There were drugs found inside. There were past complaints of possible drug activity but "the previous information is, quite frankly, quite old," said Executive Deputy Police Chief George Markert. The teens were inside with others about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday when another group burst in and shot them. No one else was injured. "Wilkins Street underscores a lot of issues that this community faces," Markert said, of poverty, joblessness, high school dropout rates, children with high blood-lead levels and drugs. "All those issues manifest themselves in that area." But Markert said the challenges on Wilkins are the same as on almost every city street where there has been a homicide. There were 48 criminal homicides last year. Shaw and Coley became the city's third and fourth homicides of 2008. Efforts continue to be made to address drug dealing and crime a police tactical unit was in the neighborhood stopping motorists and pedestrians at the time of the shooting. "The tough part is, the underlying issues don't ever change," Markert said. Even if the city had red-flagged the house, Markert said, getting a search warrant is more complicated than people realize. Officials said the drug activity witnessed and reported in the 300 block of Wilkins often was difficult to pinpoint to one address. And while police need people to report suspected criminal activity, officers cannot arrest someone solely on a citizen complaint, officials said. The search warrant process requires an undercover officer DECISON 2008 "Words are important and words matter, but actions speak louder than words," she said. Obama agreed with that, then noted that Clinton lately had urged voters to turn against him by saying: "Let's get real." "And the implication is that the people who've been voting for me or are involved in my campaign are somehow delusional," Obama said. Clinton also raised Obama's use in his campaign speeches of words first uttered by his friend, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. "If your candidacy is going to be about words, then they should be your own words," she said. "... Lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in; it's change you can Xerox." The debate audience booed. Obama said the controversy was evidence of a "silly season" that the public finds dispiriting. Clinton and Obama articulated well-worn themes in the opening moments of the encounter; she stressed years of experience, and he underscored a need for a change in the way business is done in Washington. The debate was sponsored by CNN, Univision and the Texas Democratic Party. McCain's top advisers, fearing there might be an intimate relationship between the two, "intervened to protect the candidate from himself instructing staff members to block the woman's access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on condition of anonymity." The story relies heavily on two unidentified former McCain "associates" but doesn't characterize their current relationships with him. A former McCain aide, John Weaver, told both the Times and The Washington Post that he met with Iseman at Washington's Union Station to persuade her to stop seeing the senator. The story also reports that j Iseman, whose clients include j firms with substantial business I before the Senate Commerce I Committee, "had been turning up with (McCain) at fund- raisers, visiting his offices and : accompanying him on a client's corporate jet." McCain chaired j the committee at various times ! from 1997 to 2005. j McCain on Thursday almost I categorically denied the story's i main points. ! "I've served this country hon-: orably for half a century," the j likely Republican presidential j nominee said with his wife, Cin- dy, at his side. "At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust." u i or informant to make two separate buys before a judge will sign a warrant. Then, police must do another controlled buy before going in. The department executes hundreds of drug warrants each year, Markert said, but dealers adapt, moving from house to house. As part of the Zero Tolerance crime fighting initiative, begun Oct. 5, the city has taken additional civil action against problem houses. By declaring the houses nuisance properties, the city can order them vacated for six months to a year to disrupt what often becomes a repetitive cycle. City Corporation Counsel Thomas Richards said Thursday that the city has acted on 10 properties this year double or even triple the number at this time last year. The city vacated nine properties at the end of 2007, he said, and several landlords have voluntarily emptied their rentals. While that leaves vacancies and could lead to abandonment, Richards said: "Look at the damage you're doing to the neighborhood. It's a tough call." He said 334 Wilkins is now vacant, and the city will take steps to "keep it from starting up again." Joan Roby-Davison . has worked in the neighborhood more than 10 years. When she arrived, there were "no drug houses, no drug activity" on Wilkins. "Over the last few years, as vacant houses have increased, other problems have increased, the drug activity has picked up," said Roby-Davison, executive director of Group 14621 Community Association Inc. "I am frustrated beyond belief that in some of these entrenched locations, and this is not the only one, we cannot seem to get any approach that shuts them down." Wilkins has changed quite a bit since Wendell Brown was growing up on the 200 block, CAMPAIGN TRAIL Polls offer Clinton bit of good news Hillary Rodham Clinton's supporters got some good polling news Thursday in the results of surveys about the Democratic presidential contests conducted Feb. 16-20 by The Washington Post and ABC News in Texas and Ohio. The polls show Clinton and Barack Obama neck and neck in Texas and Clinton leading in Ohio. Texas was a statistical dead heat, with Clinton at 48 percent and Obama at 47 percent. That poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. In Ohio, Clinton had a 50 percent to 43 percent lead over Obama, according to the poll there. That poll also had a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Obama wins vote of Dems Abroad WASHINGTON -Obama won the Democrats Abroad global primary in results announced Thursday, giving him 11 straight victories in the race i for the Democratic presidential nominatioa The Illinois senator won the primary in which Democrats living in other countries voted by Internet and mail and in person, according to results released by Democrats Abroad, an organization sanctioned by the national party. More than 20,000 U.S. citizens living abroad voted in the primary, which ran from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12. Obama won about 65 percent of the vote, according to the results released Thursday. FEC questions McCain's funding WASHINGTON - The government's top campaign finance regulator says John McCain can't drop out of the primary election's public financing system until he answers questions about a loan he obtained to kick-start his once-faltering presidential campaign. Federal Election Commission Chairman David Mason said in a letter to McCain this week that the all-but-certain Republican nominee needs to assure the commission that he did not use the promise of public money to secure a $4 million line of credit in November. McCain's lawyer, Trevor FfAori where his parents still live. Brown said he wouldn't buy a house on the street now. On Thursday, a police cruiser sat outside his parents' house. As a child, Brown used to stop at 10 or 15 friends' houses on his way to school so they could all walk together. There were more homeowners then. "You didn't hear about shootings. You didn't hear about drugs," he said. Now, there are more rentals, more boarded up properties, more vacant lots. "It's sad to see a cop car sitting here, stopping traffic," he said. Ask whether the police presence is helping, though, and Cot-to will tell about the fence hole near his home. The hole lets people cut over to Friederich Park. "Usually there's tracks (in the snow) there," Cotto said. "This morning, there were no tracks." But the troubles are not over, he said, explaining that "334 Wilkins has been targeted because this happened there. Now what is going to happen, from this point on? "How long is it going to be before the memory of this erases from folks, and they decide to come to the little Chinese restaurant at Wilkins and Hudson, or the car dealership?" What is going to happen to the people who lived at 334 Wilkins? What is going to happen when the police leave? And what, he asked, can be done "to get the bad elements out, so the rest of the folks who live in the neighborhood can live in peace?" "It is so overwhelmingly sad that, in this community, we cannot come up with solutions," Roby-Davison said her frustration, like Cottq's, pouring out. "Who is responsible for cleaning the blood off our sidewalks? That is not a question we should ever have to ask." Includes reporting by staff writer Stephanie Veale. Potter, said Wednesday evening that McCain has withdrawn from the system and that the FEC can't stop him. Potter, who was FEC chairman in 1994, said the campaign did not encumber the public funds in any way. McCain said at a news conference Thursday, "Well, it was done before in another campaign. ... We think it's perfectly legal. One of our advisers is a former chairman of the FEC, and we are confident that it was an appropriate thing to do." Early voting begins in Texas LAREDO, Texas Clinton urged Texas supporters to vote early, giving them a toll-free number to call to find polling locations in their counties. "I am only here because millions of people have voted for me, and hundreds of thousands have contributed and supported me through tough times and easy times," the New York senator said Thursday. Early voting began Wednesday in Texas, which holds its primary March 4. The former first lady also pressed her case. "I want you (to) think who is best able to stand on stage with (Republican) Senator John McCain and make the case to elect a Democrat in the fall," she said. Huckabee taking outsider role HOUSTON -Republican Mike Huckabee portrayed himself Thursday as a Washington outsider who would solve problems his presidential rivals, all with Washington ties, have failed to address. "What I see is a whole bunch of the same, even the ones who say they're going to change things," the former Arkansas governor told a couple of hundred supporters at a morning rally in Houston. "If you believe Washington has the answers, you've got plenty of choices for president. If you believe they're the ones who messed it up, then tell me and explain to me and justify to me why you would give someone who lives in Washington now, who works there, who is in the middle of the system, why you would give them the keys to make serious changes when they've been there and haven't made any yet?" The Associated Press

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