Local News Service / Fox 29

The Internship Portfolio of Brian Donathan

Two Vigils, Two Messages

Once again I was out with George Roach and LNS.  Tonight we were scheduled to stop by and gather video of two candlelight vigils for victims gunned down on the streets of Philadelphia.  The first was for Dwayne Canty — a young man gunned down by an uknown assailant.

The vigil appeared to be attended by not only Canty’s family, but many friends as well as others from the neighborhood.  Several people spoke through a load speaker as the flames flickered in the chilly night air.
The message of the night was one of coming together, taking responsibility for the youth in the neighborhood, and avoiding tragedy in the future.  Dwayne’s mother spoke briefly.  She looked barely old enough to have a baby, let alone three (now two) teenage sons.

It was a rare glimpse for me (someone not originally from Philly) into the hearts of residents who are faced with crime and death on a scale I could not possibly imagine.

I held the mic as George asked Canty’s mother questions — her two sons flanking her.  Her strength was remarkable.

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The second vigil for another shooting victim had a slightly different feel to it.  As we pulled up in our SUV, which was unmarked, the young group standing outside the victim’s home began muttering “police, police.”  It was at this point that George filled me in on the details behind this victim’s death.  The story is that a young boy (around 12) was robbed leaving a pizza place in the neighborhood.  Upon informing his father, a police officer, his dad and a friend began combing the area for anyone suspicious when they stumbled on to the victim (I cannot remember his name) and some friends.  To make a long story short, the scene escalated and the young man was shot by the off duty officer.  The wound paralyzed the young man who months later would die from further complications.

Once the people at the vigil realized we were media, they began clowning for the camera.  It was apparent this vigil wouldn’t have the same uplifting message the other one had.  At one point, a marked police car drove by resulting in chants of, “F*** the police!” from the almost entirely teenage crowd.

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May 5, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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