Houston pastor travels to grief-stricken town where Australian ballplayer was murdered

Print
Email
|

by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 29 at 11:28 AM

DUNCAN, Oklahoma -- KHOU 11 News followed Bishop James Dixon on a personal quest. It began at an airport in Houston and ended in Duncan, Oklahoma, the scene of an awful crime.

“People are grief-stricken here,” said Dixon, who spent time in the small city as a child.

Many of his relatives still call the place home, including a 15-year-old cousin who’s one of three teens accused of gunning down a college baseball player from Australia.

Christopher Lane, 23, was killed while jogging home. According to police, the suspects told police they did it because they were “bored.”

Dixon said his cousin comes from a broken family and has a mother who’s serving time in jail.

“But it certainly should not be an excuse for the crime whatsoever,” Dixon said.

Dixon held a meeting with local clergy members and the mayor hoping to help find solutions to the problem of senseless violence.

Many people along Main Street were struggling to cope with what happened.

“People are still devastated by it,” said Amanda Chavez.

“There’s just not enough value for human life,” said Gene Lynch.

Many black leaders made that same argument following the Trayvon Martin verdict. But after the murder in Duncan, some whites accused blacks of remaining silent.

“I haven’t really heard anything,” said Chris White. “No matter how bad it is around here, it just never seems like it’s important.”

The city’s mayor, who happens to be African-American, said the sentiment that there’s a double standard simmers just beneath the surface.

“It’s based on past history,” said Mayor Gene Brown. “But I think we have to move forward and move beyond that.”

Dixon said he came to Duncan to help the town move forward.

“We’ve got to work collectively,” said Dixon. “It doesn’t have to be Houston or Chicago or Las Angeles. It can be small Duncan, Oklahoma.”

Print
Email
|