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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Killings provide some serious life lessons

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I write this editorial with a heavy heart and a sad spirit. I do so, because four lives were taken this week in a tremendously violent, barbaric and callous manner. Four lives were cut short most likely at the hands of someone the same race as the victims.

While four lives ended, the influx of Black on Black crime continues to skyrocket.

Twenty-four-year-old Andrea Yarrell, her 4-month-old daughter Charlii, Gina Hunt, also 24, and her 23-month-old son Jordan were all killed by multiple gunshots when intruders entered their near-Northeastside home. Both women were holding their children in their arms.

Inside the home on Hovey Street officers found a safe, about a pound of marijuana, an electronic scale, ammunition and three guns. IMPD officials say they were called to the home three times in 2007, the last being in September when it was burglarized.

While the community grieves at the unfortunate loss of life, it’s imperative that we look at the situation in it’s entirety and learn lessons that will hopefully institute a new way of thinking as we all strive to survive in this world.

Lesson One: Crime doesn’t pay.

Whoever killed the women and their children, whether they are ever apprehended by IMPD or not, will be punished because we all have to answer to a higher power. It can be God, Jehovah or Allah, we all will be held responsible for the life we lived and the actions we took. It’s not the right of any of us to take a life.

Lesson Two: Few retire from the drug game.

Considering the large amount of marijuana, the scale, ammunition and guns, it’s fairly safe to say that some sort of illegal activity was taking place in that house. I’m not sure if Yarrell and Hunt were directly involved or if someone they were close to was, but the distribution of drugs is not only illegal, but generally short-lived because eventually law enforcement does their job and people go to jail.

If they’re “fortunate” enough not to go to jail, then they often lose their life at the hands of another individual in the same “business” as them, or even a “customer.”

While the money obtained from selling drugs can come in fast, the glory is often short-lived because of death or incarceration. Very few drug dealers escape death or incarceration. Fewer retire.

Lesson Three: Be careful who you associate with.

As I mentioned before, Yarrell and Hunt might not have been selling drugs themselves, but someone they knew probably was. Many people called into the “Afternoons with Amos” radio show and mentioned how men in the women’s lives probably sold drugs. It’s vital that people disassociate themselves with anyone doing things that are wrong and illegal, because more often than not, an innocent bystander can get punished for being indirectly involved. That punishment can be a charge as an accessory to a crime and jail time, retaliation, bodily harm or even death. In the end, it’s just not worth it to be involved in something, or with someone that you know is wrong.

Lesson Four: Consider your children.

I once heard a woman say that when she had her first child, life as she knew it changed and she became less tolerant of certain behaviors and people. This woman mentioned that she was always careful of everything she did because her actions didn’t solely affect her anymore. She was now responsible for the life of an individual who God blessed her with — her son.

I understand how hard and challenging life can be, especially as young single mothers. I know how frustrating it is trying to make ends meet, but it’s essential that women (and men) not get caught up in the fast life and quick money. Instead, utilize the number of resources that are available to help struggling families if you can’t make it on your own. Consider the lives of your children before agreeing to do anything, and be careful of the people and things you have around your children.

As unfortunate as the deaths of Yarrell, Hunt and their children are, what’s even sadder is they exposed the babies to dangerous activity that eventually ended all of their lives.

As a parent, if you don’t value your own life enough to not get involved in wrong things, at least value the life of your child.

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