Last Days: The Week in Review
MONDAY, MAY 21 This week of gun-related horror, arrow-related horror, and poison-related horror kicks off with a life-ruining tragedy that required no weapons at all, just a webcam and a bridge. At the center of the saga: Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who was secretly observed engaging in homosexual activity in his dorm room and soon after committed suicide. As Reuters reminds us, "Clementi, 18, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, days after learning [his roommate] watched [his amorous encounter] through the computer-mounted camera and used social media to encourage others to do so." The would-be cause-and-effect aspect of the case, in which cruelly intrusive surveillance seemed to drive a young man directly to suicide, inspired widespread indignation and calls for proper punishment of Dharun Ravi, Clementi's 20-year-old roommate, who faced up to 10 years in jail after being found guilty of bias intimidation, evidence tampering, and multiple counts of invading Tyler Clementi's privacy. Today brought Dharun Ravi's sentencing, where a New Jersey judge ordered Ravi to serve 30 days in jail, followed by three years probation and 300 hours of community service. Many were relieved, many were outraged, and in 30 days, Dharun Ravi can begin the rest of his life as "that creepy guy whose video surveillance may have prompted his roommate's suicide."
TUESDAY, MAY 22 The week continues in Marysville, where a policeman faces criminal charges after his misplaced gun turned his 3-year-old son into an alleged killer and his 7-year-old daughter into a corpse. Details come from KING 5, which identifies the cop as Officer Derek Carlile, who was off-duty and running errands on March 10 when he left his four children—ages 7, 5, 3, and 1—alone in the family van while he and his wife visited a store. Also left in the van: Officer Carlile's personal .38 revolver, which, according to charging documents, sat loaded, unlocked, and in clear view in the van's center console. You can guess where this is going: "Jenna Carlile, 7, was killed when her 3-year-old brother allegedly picked up the gun and fired it," reports KING 5. "Police say the gun was fully loaded and the safety was not on, although it had an internal safety feature." For creating what the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office called "a substantial risk of death by leaving his loaded, unsecured handgun in this vehicle in clear view and reach of four children," Officer Carlile has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, for which the grieving father could face 27 months in prison.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 23 We continue with the week's rare day without a gun-related tragedy, which kicks off in Afghanistan, where today teachers and students showed up for classes at the Bibi Hajera girls school in Talokhan only to be sprayed with poison. "More than 120 girls and three teachers were admitted to an Afghanistan hospital Wednesday after being poisoned in their classes with a type of spray," reports CNN, detailing the sickened students' symptoms as dizziness, vomiting, headaches, and loss of consciousness. "The Afghan people know that the terrorists and the Taliban are doing these things to threaten girls and stop them going to school," said police spokesman Khalilullah Aseer to CNN. "Now we are implementing democracy in Afghanistan and we want girls to be educated, but the government's enemies don't want this."
••Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, police are puzzling over how a 7-year-old girl came to be shot in the back with an arrow. As Reuters reports, the incident occurred last Sunday evening, when 7-year-old Aryanna Schneeberg was walking outside of her Campbellsport home and suddenly found herself impaled. "The arrow went through her left lung, spleen, and stomach, with the tip coming to a stop in the liver," writes Reuters, adding that after a two-and-a-half-hour surgery, the girl is again walking, talking, and expected to recover. As for the archer: Police confiscated a bow and several arrows from a nearby residence, which have been sent to a crime lab for analysis.
THURSDAY, MAY 24 In worse news, the week continues in Seattle, where, as the Associated Press reports, "a man heading out for a holiday weekend with his parents and his two children was killed by an errant bullet from a stranger's dispute as he drove down a Seattle street." The man: 42-year-old Justin Ferrari, who was driving his family-packed van near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and East Cherry Street this afternoon when he was hit in the head by a stray bullet from a nearby and presumably gang-related street altercation. While his two young children were hustled to safety in a nearby Ethiopian restaurant, Ferrari—a senior developer at Zillow, volunteer youth coach at View Ridge Swim and Tennis Club, and fun-loving supporter of such arts organizations as On the Boards—died in his dad's arms. The primary suspect, as identified by Seattle Police detective Jeff Kappel and reported by Seattlepi.com: a light-skinned black man in his late teens/early 20s who fled the scene on foot. Adding insult to tragedy: Justin Ferrari won't be Seattle's only fatal shooting of the week, thanks to Sunday's saga in North Seattle, where a homeowner will be fatally shot by an intruder, described by KOMO as "an Asian male, about 20 to 30 years old, of medium height, with a slim build and short black hair."
FRIDAY, MAY 25 Nothing happened today, unless you count the press release sent out by the Los Angeles gay bar the Abbey, which today announced its ban on bachelorette parties until the attainment of marriage equality. Last Days approves. For a taste of the argument that ensued on Slog, see No, You Shut Up, page 6.
SATURDAY, MAY 26 The week continues with some psychotic bullshit in Miami, where today police shot and killed a man who refused to stop eating another man's face. Details come from CBS Miami, which reports that "the naked man [police] shot was trying to chew the face off another naked man, and refused to obey police orders to stop his grisly meal, which one source now claims included his victim's nose and eyeballs." The suspected cause of the cannibalistic freak-out: "Bath salts," the trendy hallucinogenic concoction that sometimes inspires users to go murderously insane in a way that typically involves nakedness (the drug can cause body temperature to rise) and superhuman strength. (See, perhaps: the half-naked young woman who injured several police officers last weekend in Belltown.) The face-bit victim was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
SUNDAY, MAY 27 Nothing happened today, unless you count the previously cited fatal shooting in North Seattle or another goddamn shooting involving wayward gang-related gunfire in Seattle. Today's blessedly nonfatal but still infuriating incident went down at Seattle Center, where a gang-related disturbance led to the firing of a .22 revolver, the bullet from which struck a bystander in the calf. The alleged gunman was arrested at the scene and the bystander is expected to survive. But this shit has to stop.
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