Friday, April 09, 2010

Chicago: 21-Year-Old Shoots 84-Year-Old for “Disrespecting” Him (with a Surprise Ending!)

By Nicholas Stix

Melvin Hammond's mug shot.

The other day I read somewhere, “5 [a.m.] is the new 1 a.m.” The relevance of that remark is that there are apparently some old codgers who get up and out before dawn to catch an early bird breakfast. Time was, one would then encounter safe, quiet streets in the most bustling metropolis. But in today’s diversitopias, there are no safe times. Which brings me to the story that reader-researcher A.L. sent me, and on which he did some work.

A man charged with shooting an elderly man outside a South Side fast-food restaurant allegedly opened fire because he became angered when the victim ignored his request for a dollar, prosecutors said today.

The 84-year-old victim was leaving a McDonald's restaurant in the 7800 block of South Western Avenue at 5:15 a.m. Monday when Melvin Hammond, 21, allegedly asked him for a dollar, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said at Hammond's bond hearing.

"The victim is moderately hard of hearing and did not hear what the defendant said to him and waved at him," Scaduto said. "According to the defendant's handwritten statement, he felt disrespected by the old man and he became angry, so he shot him."

The gunshot passed through one of the victim's legs, shattering his femur, and he remained hospitalized this afternoon. Police later recovered a 9mm handgun at the scene loaded with six live rounds, Scaduto said.

Circuit Judge Donald Panarese set bail at $600,000 for Hammond, of the 7300 block of South Claremont Avenue. He faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison if convicted of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated battery of a victim over age 60 and unlawful use of a weapon.

“Prosecutors: Elderly man shot over a dollar” by Matthew Walberg, Chicago Breaking News (Tribune Co.), April 6, 2010, 1:38 PM.

Reader Amber quipped, “Thank God we have a gun ban, we wouldnt want that eldely man shootting a gang banger.”

If a guy asks you for a dollar, and feels “disrespected” and justified in shooting you when you don’t give it to him, that means that he didn’t “ask” you for a dollar, he demanded it, and thus that this was not a case of “panhandling,” but a robbery, from the get-go, which turned into attempted murder. (I realize that they’re not charging the confessed perp with that, but that’s combination of affirmative action criminal justice, and the desire to massage the crime stats. Every time you can substitute an “assault 1” or even an “aggravated battery with a firearm” for an attempted murder, your city just became a little bit safer … in Bizarro World!)

And why would the prosecutor say that the confessed robber-shooter “allegedly asked him for a dollar”? “Asking for a dollar” isn’t a crime.

The explanation is that the prosecutor is speaking in code, just as the MSM does.

At least since the Bernard Goetz case (Christmastime, 1984), the MSM in New York have lied about blacks’ and Hispanics’ robberies of whites, by saying that the robbers “asked” or “requested” the victim for money.

When four violent black criminals had surrounded and demanded money from Goetz in an attempted robbery, he turned the tables on them, shooting each man once.

In the Goetz case, it was Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau, who got the ball rolling with the phony story, which was the kind of racial fairy tale that you’d expect to hear from defense counsel. In a conspiracy to obstruct justice, Morgenthau had his staff sell a pack of lies to the media, to wit that:

• The four blacks had only “requested” money from Goetz, and never intended to rob him;
• Goetz was a racist who was looking for trouble;
• Goetz shot one man a second time; and
• Thus that Goetz was a vicious, racist criminal, and the four men his poor victims.

Whenever it may have began, the media practice of lying on behalf of racist black and Hispanic robbers, took root.

I can recall when I was researching my first big story on crime in New York for Chronicles magazine from 1995-1996, being confused by a story in the “Police Blotter” of a local community newspaper. In the wee small hours one night in Brooklyn (in trendy Park Slope, if memory serves), one man approached another man, “requesting” money from him. I recall complaining to my girlfriend, “How can they arrest him for robbery, if he only ‘requested’ money from him?”

It took me an embarrassingly long while to realize that the media uses the verbs “to request” and “to ask” as euphemisms for “to demand.” But hey, the whole point of the exercise was to confuse people.

Clearly, the same game has long been afoot in Cook County, Illinois, as well. Thus does Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto double down on the confusion by using the euphemism “ask” together with “allegedly,” such as to expose the fakery behind the euphemism.

And who ever said, “Two confusions don’t make a clarity”? (Alright, nobody.)

With all of the word games, and the would-be killer’s demand for “respect,” the story had the smell of a black-on-white racial attack. My reader-researcher A.L. had the same hunch, and e-mailed the reporter, who responded regarding the victim, “Nope. Not white.”

Look for Melvin Hammond to "unconfess," charge that his confession was coerced, and seek to get it suppressed, at his next court hearing. Or maybe he'll say that his words were taken out of context, or that the confession just contained "snippets" of what he had said.


Anonymous said...


The LA Times now has a special page that gives details on homicides in Los Angeles. In black on black crimes, a black man will be walking down the street supposedly minding his own business and another black man comes out of nowhere and shoots him dead. That is how these crimes are described.

This Chicago shooting sounds like one of these.

David From TN

Nicholas said...


That's very ... interesting.

I wonder what they think they are gaining with that routine. I guess if you're running the talking point, "Black males are the largest group of murder victims," then it helps to portray them as angels who are just struck down, while minding their own business, whereas in this case, the old man really was just minding his own business.

Thanks for the info.