Fri | Jul 30, 2021

Letter of the Day | Miguel was human, too!

Published:Thursday | June 27, 2019 | 12:00 AM


To say I am disappointed would be an understatement. My family has tried to bury the pain and heartbreaks we had to undergo since the death of our son, brother, cousin, and uncle. In April, the body of young Shante Skyers was discovered. Such a tragedy shook the nation. We were all truly angry and hurt that anyone would dare to rape and murder such a beautiful gem. The anger did not stop there. A few days later, a young man, who many referred to as being “mad”, was brutally murdered after being accused as Shante’s killer.

That “mad” man happens to be my cousin. That “mad” man, Miguel Williams, was not mentally ill as perceived, but had some challenges. He was sensible, smart, quiet, and reserved. He was not a violent or an aggressive person. Miguel had a setback, which made his reasoning a little more delayed than the average person, but he was one that you could sit and have a conversation with. He was literate – he went to school, and he graduated. He was human. He had family – family that loved him and family that he loved.

I write this letter as a means of expressing the hurt and pain from Miguel’s family’s perspective. Since his death, there has been no formal and public apology to his family. While we understand that an innocent baby was murdered, and while we take no attention from the original pain, it is truly unfair that the system, the media, put so much effort in broadcasting his death, the assumptions, and to date, has not even mentioned his innocence. It is sad and unfortunate that society has to be playing a guessing game as to whether Miguel is innocent.

On June 25, 2019, a story was published, with Shante’s dad expressing his anger at the police’ s delay in finding her murderers. The article failed to mention anything about Miguel. It is as though he did not exist. While I understand the art of journalism, how thoughtless could one be to purposely leave out the details of the innocent man who was murdered? Do you not care about his life? Doesn’t his life value something? Wasn’t his murder worth mentioning? I cannot wrap my mind around it. How can we be so callous? Two families were affected; two innocent beings lost their lives. Where is the justice in all of this?!

The “mad” man in this messy situation was human. He was beaten and killed like he was dog. Since his death, he has been ignored, forgotten like he never existed, is of no value. How fair is that? How fair is that to his family? How fair is that to him?

I hope that the killers of baby Shante and Miguel will get the justice they deserve unless God sees it fit to save them from a devil’s hell. Shante didn’t deserve this. Miguel did not deserve this.

Our system has failed. Our system has failed us twice in one situation.

R. McHugh