Monday, January 28, 2008

Hovey Street Murders Update - The Wasted and Violent Life Of A "Domestic Terrorist"

This is Ronald Leon Davis. He is the alleged shooter in the Hovey Street Murders case. He is denying being the shooter, but his companions in the robbery and murders have all issued statements fingering him as the shooter. Mr. Davis is clearly a career criminal, despite numerous opportunities to turn his life around. If he truly is the individual behind killing 2 unarmed women and 2 defenseless children, he is most certainly a monster of epic proportions

Since I have been covering this case, I have been bombarded with comments and e-mails, focusing on the choices made by the two women who were murdered. I have been appalled, angered, and amazed at this position taken by several of my readers. Part of me does not disagree with their perceptions, but after reading about the wasted and violent life of Mr. Ronald Davis, I have to wonder what choices anyone has in dealing with folks like Ronald Davis.

What do black communities do about life-long predators like Ronald Davis? Where is the outrage and activism of black male bloggers, media pundits, politicians, pastors, and community leaders? Why are black women bloggers once again the only people bringing attention to this crime, challenging each other about what happened and how not to have it happen again?

What exactly should the black community do with black men who refuse again and again to conform to the rules of the given society? What do we do with the grown-ass black men that victimize black women and children in their communities? Do we write these type of black men off forever? Do we continue to blame their crimes on "not having fathers," "not having education or jobs," "not having the support of black women," or do we make these kind of black men take responsibility for themselves?

Think about this -

Mr. Davis has been selling drugs since he was a teenager. He was kicked out of high school, yet managed to get a GED, a barber's license and substance abuse treatment in prison. Despite all of that, Mr Davis failed to stay out of the criminal justice system. Additionally, despite being just 30 years old and having spent 1/3 of his life behind bars, Mr. Davis has managed to father three children by two different women.

Mr. Davis has been arrested and charged on different occasions for physically attacking the mother of his two children and a former girlfriend. Apparently, this behavior runs in the family because Davis' brother, Nathanael Davis, 28, is awaiting trial in domestic battery and confinement cases in Indianapolis.

And for those of you so excited by the equalization of crack cocaine vs. power cocaine sentencing laws. Mr. Davis was twice released early from prison on drug offenses. Each time he was released, he never managed to last more than a few months before being locked up on parole violations, mostly related to violent attacks on black women.

Choices...yes, indeed...we all have choices. Mr. Davis could have chosen to cut hair and give shaves in his community's barbershop, but instead he decided to sell drugs in his community. Mr. Davis could have chosen to go to community college and add an AA degree to his GED, but instead he would rather enroll in criminal's college in the prison industrial complex. Mr. Davis could have chosen not to murder black women and children in his community, but for entirely too many people's regret, he decided to kill instead.


Miss Issues January 28, 2008 at 9:09 AM  

Preach it, sista Preach it.
Why are people talking about these women dating choices, but not the choices of black men who continue to destroy their own communities.

The black community doesn't want to recognize the fact they we have a segment of young men who have chosen to be crimininals. Who don't want a real job or education. Who don't give damn who the rob or kill. It could easily be one of us. They may decide they want kick in our door and get our car or flat screen TV.

Again, thank you for pointing out that these women were innocent victims.

Randi523 January 28, 2008 at 9:30 AM  

Preach, Professor!

I get tired of hearing excuses for violent, criminalistic Black men, and us Black women being the objective of most of those excuses. Lock him up and don't let him out again-I don't care how many grammatically-incorrect letters he writes to plead for his case to get released!

Even more scary: just think about what you and Gina were talking about with the potential release of criminals with drug-related offenses if new legislation is introduced. We may have Hovey Street terrorism all over the country...scary.

Miss Pinky January 28, 2008 at 9:30 AM  

I am SO sick of all the "debates" about the alleged choices the murdered women made.

The bottom line is that subhuman went looking for someone to kill that night. That is my "take" on the issue. He took a loaded weapon to robbery, found fresh victims cowering in a corner with their babies...pulled the trigger 10 times. End of story.

Can we please stop calling him an animal..that offends me as an animal lover. Animals don't execute babies...subhumans do.


JJ January 28, 2008 at 10:21 AM  

Do you really think this cat had a shot at any of that?


Look screwing kids up is simple. It's an easy thing to do. Usually the damage is done and is pervasive.

We as a society have no idea what to do with these cats but to lock them up.

Until we can do better then this is what will keep happening.

It's not an individuals problems its all our problems.

Professor Tracey January 28, 2008 at 11:39 AM  

JJ -

He had the same chance to live like a law-abiding citizen as everyone else in the world. The man is thirty years old. What do we do with people like him, who have CHOSEN to waste their lives and are predators in our communities? He is not without freewill, he is not stupid. He also not a child. There are plenty of people that came from the same environment and the same situation and did not make the bad decisions that he did. He is solely responsible for that, not anyone else.

JJ January 28, 2008 at 11:57 AM  


Just becaue there are exceptions doesn't mean the rule doesn't apply.

Choice is relative.

Most people don't change. Most people succumb to their envrionment.

People don't want to here that but that doesn't make it not true.

It's like Thomas Moore's create criminals and then punish them for being the criminals you've created.

Do you have to punish them...yes.
Is that going to stop the criminals from being

So choice can be argued all day long but the end result is still the same.

Professor Tracey January 28, 2008 at 12:17 PM  

JJ -

You keep avoiding the original point of my post and I don't want the discuss thread moving away from that point.

Men like Ronald Davis are in our communities NOW, regardless of their tragic circumstances. What do we do with them NOW? This isn't about the criminal justice system, the police, or anything else, but our communities. What do we as black people do with the Ronald Davis of the black world as they are right NOW?

And you are right choice is relative, but I remember you being one of the strong advocates about the women in this case making poor choices. You can't have it both way. If they had choices, so did he. If choice is relative, then it doesn't matter what choices the women made because they were dead anyone once they crossed paths with Mr. Davis.

JJ January 28, 2008 at 12:34 PM  

I never said anyhting about the women in this case making poor choices.

I never commented on this case.

And what do you do with the men who are in the communites who make these bad choices...

You lock them up.

I've said that twice now.

My comment was based on your contention that Mr. Davis had all of these going to college or whatever else.

Like I said locking them up isn't perfect. Most people who go to jail get out. And since most people don't chnage they will offend again.

It's a bleak situation. But right now all that can be done is to lock them up and hope they won't continue their criminal ways upon their release.

Tami January 28, 2008 at 1:38 PM  

What should the black community do with men like Ronald Davis? Men who abuse women, sell drugs, spread their seed about town, and are violent, criminal menaces to our neighborhoods? We should lock them up and make sure they don't get early releases.

What should we also do? We should try to decrease poverty in this country, because poverty breeds crime. We should make it a priority that every child gets a solid education. We should teach young black men and women that achievement is possible in the face of racism, sexism and poverty.

There is a hell of a lot wrong with this country, but none of it excuses what Ronald Davis did.

Randi523 January 28, 2008 at 2:56 PM  

jj said: "Most people don't change. Most people succumb to their envrionment."

Speaking of succumbing to one's environment, my 2 youngest sisters, ages 18 and 19 (and practically everyone in my old neighborhood back home) has succumbed to their environment in a horrible way. However, I didn't make/accept any excuses for my own 2 sisters, so I'm definitely not making/accepting any for this 30 year old man! Just like my sisters, this young man had plenty of opportunities to do well for himself, morally and financially, but he CHOSE to do bad for himself. This is NOT an example of "The White man holding me/us down." This is an example of why the White man or any other man/woman doesn't want to give Black men/women a first or second or third chance.

Like I said in my first comment on this post, lock 'em up with NO MORE CHANCES! I know there are instances of being wrongfully accused in the "justice" system, but for this hardened, callous, senseless criminals that screw up time and time again, LOCK THEM UP!!

Rashawn January 28, 2008 at 5:01 PM  

What can we do? We can STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THEM.

We can stop feeding them. Stop having sex with them. We can stop giving them a home to lay their heads at night.

If they want to behave like animals, allow them to go all the way and live on the street.

It's all of this 'understanding' and 'help' that stops them from hitting bottom and changing if only to preserve themselves.

We need to turn these people out of the community - both predatory men AND predatory women -- and force them to become their own ethnicity. Find a way to differentiate ourselves, create our own communities and leave them the hell alone to rot in the hell that they are supposedly 'forced' into making.

Maybe, just maybe, if they get sick of each other, they will come to their senses and start trying to think like a civilized, caring human being.

Randi523 January 28, 2008 at 5:47 PM  

Adding to Rashawn's comment: it doesn't help when these criminals' mothers' and other family members get on TV and say things like "My baby was a good man" or "My cousin was good people-he took care of his kids" or "My baby was provoked" or "The police didn't have to lock him up", when they KNOW their baby is doing wrong.

JJ January 28, 2008 at 5:49 PM  

There is a basic principle at play in , not only Black communities but other disenfranchised communities:

You can't have a large population of unemployed, under educated (unmarried) males and not have a lot of violence.

You see the same things in the French ghettos overrun with immigrants that the French don't want to deal with. You saw it Ireland in the 90's and you see it in India and to a lesser extent China today.

It's not a matter of making excuses it just is. Some would argue biological determinism and others would say its just how we socialize males.

Testosterone has to be controlled either socially or through force.

We have chosen to not handle the situation socially (education, jobs, etc.).

The only other other option is force.

The problem with force is that no mater how long you lock folk up they get out. Largely worse then when they went in. And they end up right back in "our" communities.

And the cycle continues. It's a Bleak situation and outside of locking people up no easy solutions.

Until we decide to fix the social all we have is the force.

tasha212 January 29, 2008 at 11:29 PM  

If women and children have to fear for their lives and safety in your presence, then you are not a man. That has to be the standard of manhood in our communities. Men are supposed to protect women and children, not prey on them. Where is the outcry from black male leaders about the senseless killing and rape of black women and children? Why won't they speak out forcefully against the violence?

I think there has to be a balence. If black women are to be held accountable for their choices, as we should be in some cases, black men ought to be held accountable for theirs. The same racist, capitalist, white supremist system that wages war on black men also wages war on black women. It is just as hard for us to succeed as it is for them. In this case, Davis had a skill, barbering, that he could have used to make a living. He could've used some of the business acumen that he learned in the drug game and opened a barbershop. The money would've been slow and maybe not as much but it would've been an honest living. But he CHOSE to lead a life of crime. And those sistas and their babies paid the ultimate price.

As for the crack laws, I think they are unfair. I believe they were drafted with the sole purpose of putting more black and Latino people in jail. To think that legislatures passed the laws for the benefit of the black community is foolish. Especially considering how crack got in the community in the first place. But I'm also not under the illusion that repealing the laws will benefit our community. All that's going to happen is a lot of people who have a proclivity for criminal activity will be released on the streets. We also have to remeber that not just dealers and users get put in jail. There are alot of women in jail serving mandatory minimun sentences because they happened to be there when an arrest was made,or be riding in their boyfriend's car or delivering a package that contained contraband. Remember Kemba Smith? Just something to think about.

iamme January 30, 2008 at 12:41 AM  

I don't agree with focusing on the "choices" of those women, but I do find your framing of the issue as black men vs. black women as troubling.

I am not a statistician, but there are a RECORD number of black people in jail.

THey didn't GET there without black people calling the police, being willing to testify, and sitting on juries and convicting those people.

I just always find it troubling that despite the crime rates for black people having been falling for years, despite hundreds of thousands of black people in jail, the black community and black people continue to be associated with crime and criminality.

There is a racist element to that association.

I respect what you are doing. There is no question the the specific issue of violence against women and children gets short changed.

There is no question that many bm focus on our issues to the exclusion of bw and children.

I understand that when people feel ignored or that issues affecting them are ignored, an almost dogmatic devotion to those issues are what will get them notced and dealt with, but truly black people DO not support criminals, and I find it racially insulting when it is suggested that we do.

I mean no offense to you.
I am just conveying how your message might read to those of us on the outside of blogs such as these.

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