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The Jace Young Tragedy

August 1, 2020
Tracy McCray
POA Vice President

Just when we thought we could begin again, the proverbial rug got pulled out from under our feet. The Corona pandemic reared its ugly head and stopped us in our tracks. Just when I was looking forward to getting my hair done, it was a no! Oh, and how about that nice sit-down dinner inside my favorite restaurant? Another no! But as bad as being forced to scale back felt, it was nothing compared to the tragic event that took place on the Fourth of July in the Bayview.

I was sitting at my desk when I heard the broadcast about a shooting that just happened in the Bayview District. Anytime something jumps off there my ears perk up. Attachments aren’t easy to lose especially when you have spent almost half of your career in the Potrero. Given the spate of shootings that had been occurring in the Bayview, I was curious to listen to what was going on. So, as I switched the extra radio on my desk to the Bayview Channel, I was praying that the shooting did not involve an officer. What I heard broke my heart. A young child had been shot and CPR was in progress.

Anytime something bad happens to a child, it is going to be a tough scene. For the cops, for the community, for bystanders. Everyone feels it. Cops are in a particularly unenviable position because they must steel themselves to fight through a range of emotions — there is still a job to do. Even with the pandemic raging, a child should be able to go outside and watch fireworks with family and friends. The night should not end in their death. Tragically, it did, and no one has an answer as to why. As courageous as the officers on scene were, they could not save the young child.

There are certain lists you don’t want to be on. I certainly did not want the city that I work for on the list of children shot in America. But we joined that list. Now we are amongst the cities of Chicago, Atlanta, and New York, who over several days, had shootings that claimed the lives of children to senseless gun violence.

As the days passed, and I learned more about him, the loss was that much more senseless to me. This young child could have changed the world, this young child was loved by all. I saw it and felt it at one of the memorials held to honor his memory. As people stood together to say his name, I was enveloped in the tremendous loss the community had suffered. We are a part of the community. This is our loss too. It is personal.

The weeks pass with no one in custody. I am still hopeful that the person(s) responsible will turn themselves in or are caught. Either way, and more importantly, this cannot be brushed aside as if it did not happen, just another name added to some roster, in some office. This did happen. As we are going through extraordinary social change around the country — even the world — senseless killing of young children must stop. They deserve better.

I hope that people will not forget what was lost the night of July 4, 2020, a beautiful and precious human whose name is Jace Young.