Another Child Killed, but Who Cares?

By Colbert I. King
Saturday, March 7, 2009

If that bullet had only nicked 14-year-old Arthur Daniels or perhaps had just passed through his clothing without touching his body, you would not be reading about him today. But the shot didn't miss. It hit him in the back and exited through his throat, killing him instantly last Saturday night on Minnesota Avenue NE.

"He was a good boy and a church-going boy," said his mother, Priscilla Daniels. Arthur's pastor, Chuck Turner of Victory Outreach Church, agreed. Arthur came to church most of the time by himself, he said, riding his bike if he had to.

No one believes Arthur knew the person who shot him.

Arthur and his friends were walking along Minnesota Avenue when, according to witnesses, young men in a car pulled up and started taunting the youths on the sidewalk. A man opened fire as Arthur tried to walk away.

On Wednesday, police arrested the alleged shooter, 18-year-old Ransom Perry Jr. of Northeast.

Mayor Adrian Fenty was shown on television embracing Arthur's mother at the news conference announcing Ransom's arrest. It was an emotional scene.

Unfortunately, Arthur's loved ones and the public learned only a small part of the story.

They should have heard from the same cast of officials who assembled Tuesday at the news conference to boast about solving Chandra Levy's murder. Tuesday's gathering filled the stage, but the characters with featured speaking roles were U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor, Fenty and D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

If authorities had told what they knew about the Minnesota Avenue homicide, Arthur's family and friends and the public would have learned (as I did from a chronology provided by law enforcement authorities) that:

-- Ransom Perry has been arrested nine times, including as recently as Jan. 18 on a charge of carrying a pistol without a license.

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