A large photograph of Felicia Holt, a New Jersey high school student, graced your front page Oct. 3 in an article about gay America. Inside there were two full pages outlining the life of this girl.

Yet your paper could not give this kind of portrait to my 25-year-old cousin, Michael Douglas Hairston, who was shot and killed July 23 on the streets of Washington. His life was reduced to just two sentences [Crime Watch, D.C. Extra, Aug. 12].

None of your readers were able to know how fun-loving he was and what a good sense of humor he had or how much he meant to me and my family. He was much more than a cousin; he was my best friend, and he was taken away from us in a flash in another act of violence in the District.

But no one seems to care. It happens all the time, and the victims of these heinous acts barely ever seem to get the respect of their names being printed in the local paper. Unless you print this letter, he will remain another unidentified black man, dead, on the streets of our nation's capital.

-- Justin C. Key

Washington