On early Sunday morning, October 1, three people people were shot dead in Lawrence, Kansas. On Tuesday, October 17, the Lawrence police announced the arrest of two suspects, including a cousin of one of the deceased. The police have not closed the investigation. Neither of those arrested was charged with first degree murder.
“We do anticipate further arrests,” said Lawrence Police Capt. Adam Heffley. “The main guy is still at large,” Dallas Ratliff, the aunt of one of the victims, posted on Facebook. “He will be caught.” Ratliff may be right on both counts. The Lawrence police may have little experience with homicide investigations on this scale, but they have done well so far.
Arrested were Ahmad Malik Rayton, 22, of Topeka, who was charged with attempted second-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm, and Dominique Jaquez McMillon, 19, also of Topeka, charged with aggravated assault and battery. Despite their youth, both have extensive experience with the criminal justice system.
Last year, McMillon was charged in juvenile court with felony aggravated robbery and pleaded no contest to felony theft. Just a couple weeks before the shooting, he bonded out of jail after an arrest in Topeka on four felony drug charges. While the investigation was underway, he was indicted on those charges.
At 22, Rayton has had more time to develop an adult rap sheet. In 2013, he was charged with misdemeanor battery. Payton had that charge dismissed only because he committed a greater crime before it could be adjudicated, specifically felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor child endangerment. Those charges only netted him supervised probation from which he was released shortly before the shooting.
One irony in this case is that those who wore Colin Kaepernick jerseys were allowed in free to the event that spawned the tragedy. With his showy protest of police brutality–or whatever he is protesting this week–Kaepernick is helping feed the epidemic of lethal crime that so tragically afflicts the black community. Three young African American lives were snuffed out, and at least two more will be condemned to a criminal justice system that Kaepernick insists disfavors people of color.
The protest he embodies, inspired by the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting, may prove to be the most self-destructive in American history.