port of harlem magazine
port of harlem gambian education partnership
USA Teens Kill Elderly Man, Why It’s Not Likely to Happen in The Gambia
Jul 15 – Jul 28, 2021
jerome prince

Two teens, a 14-year-old Gary resident and a 16-year-old Chicago resident, are accused for the June 26 fatal shooting of well-known, 70-year-old Gary resident Wallace Broadnax. The murder of the retired Gary firefighter and member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame took place at 7am while Broadnax was getting gasoline for his car.

In contrast, such crimes such as that which took place in Metro Chicago/Gary and in other American cities and towns are rare in The Gambia and we asked some of our Gambian readers why they believe that is so. “Well, these kinds of crimes are less likely to happen in The Gambia because there is a restriction on who owns and have access to guns. Gun sales are also restricted and the number of licensed businesses to deal in guns is also limited,” explained award-winning Gambian journalist Modou Joof.

In the wake of the December 2021 presidential elections in The Gambia, some are claiming that the West African country is also experiencing rising crimes similar to those experienced in the United States. However, at gas stations in The Gambia, not only are the attendants sometimes young females, but most customers, old and young, still pay in cash and the attendants provide change on the spot.

Public policy expert, activist and farmer Ousam Gaku added that the social environment on Africa’s smiling coast allows such open transactions in The Gambia. “The way kids are brought up in the Gambia encourages children to be helpful and kind to elders; thus they would not harm those seen as humanitarians rendering services to others particularly their fellow kids.” He continued, “and children in possession of even light weapons are condemned by not only the parents but even neighbors.”

In the United States, the state of Indiana’s gun laws are more laxed than those in neighboring Illinois. The city of Chicago, Illinois has even filed a lawsuit against Westforth Sports, a gun store just outside of Gary, Indiana, claiming it sold hundreds of guns that wind up in Chicago in the hands of drug traffickers and convicted felons. The lawsuit pointed out that between 2014 and this year, more than 40 criminal prosecutions for illegal gun purchases in the Northern District of Indiana involved firearms sold by the gun store.

In response to the Broadnax murder, the city of Gary plans to require gas stations and businesses with a history of violence on the premises within the past 24 months to provide armed security guards from dusk to dawn.

"I wish that somebody had loved those kids enough for them to not do something so heinous," Broadnax's niece Esther Goodes told the Northwest Indiana Times, as she stood outside the gas station. "He would have given them the shirt off his back. ... They just had to ask."

“This senseless violent act by two young people changed the life of the Broadnax family forever,” Gary Mayor Jerome Prince said, adding the community was “shocked to the core” by the crime.
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