story about an up and coming high school basketball player who was shot in the streets of chicago. this is an all too familiar story of a great talent that doesn’t see its potential fulfilled. with athletes like this it’s usually because of drugs or crime. with musicians it’s because of drugs or mental illness. basically, you’ve seen this story a million times if you’ve watched more than a couple documentaries in your life. of course that doesn’t make this story any less tragic. if you believe the mainstream narrative, benji was caught up in a robbery gone bad. if you believe the (now reformed) murderer, then benji challenged the kid and was shot twice in an act of self defense.
the interesting thing about this one was the community response. thousands of people at the funeral, jesse jackson comes out of the woodwork once again, and even some positive reforms like a rule that requires gunshot victims go to the nearest trauma center instead of the nearest hospital (duh). a death that shouldn’t have happened, but this is the kind of thing that happens when poverty, crime and drugs take over a community. you take out a few of the best and brightest of a community, take out many of the young men (through death and prison sentences), insert drugs, insert crime, insert fear, and you get what we have in many (mostly black) urban communities today. pretty sad stuff. B.