The wall at the Boys and Girls Club on Market and 24th Street commemorates Denzel Jones.
photo and story by Anthony Beron
McClymonds high school students were shocked by the shooting in front of the Boys and Girls Club on Market and 24th Streets Saturday night, in which McClymonds sophomore Denzel Jones, 15, was killed along with a 35-year-old man.
“It’s a dangerous corner,” said freshman Jasmine Vilchis. “It makes me think about safety and worry about the killers, still on the loose.”
Vilchis was within earshot of the shooting, and recalls gunshots “ringing in the night, leaving everything silent.”
Spanish teacher Elsa Ochoa described him as having a lot of friends and as a student who presented a reserved resonance. “We’ve lost another youth to violence in Oakland.”
Several grief counselors were available Monday to help students sort out their emotions.
His family asked the public Sunday to help find the gunman who killed him. Police told reporters they have no suspects and no motive yet.
Jones, nicknamed “Beans,” had only attended McClymonds since winter break. He had transferred from Oakland High School and said he most enjoyed math. His sister, Sharda Macon, a psychology major at Laney College, told KTVU, “We just really need a lot of support right now. It’s hard losing a kid. He’s just a baby.”
Debate coach and journalism assistant Pamela Tapia saw him as a student full of potential and fraught with academic talent, and as someone with a strong work ethic.
“He was genuine, intelligent and mindful. It’s so horrible that he had so much talent that wasn’t harvested; he always turned in the best work and was one of the best students I’ve had.”
In front of the Boys and Girls Club, bystanders stopped to sign two enormous posters and light candles. A huge teddybear and red and white balloons — his favorite colors — also were placed nearby.
“He was hecka quiet,” said freshman Nicole Funes. “He looked smart, like he was capable of doing good work.”
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Tagged boys and girls club, death, Denzel Jones, high school, high school news, homicide, macksmack, McClymonds, newspaper, Oakland, shooting, sophomore, violence, west Oakland
McClymonds students (left to right Jacob Miles, Lee Benson and Anthony Beron) take part in National Hoodie Day in support of Trayvon Martin.
by Anthony Beron
School’s out, but McClymonds students are closely following the Trayvon Martin trial, now in jury selection.
Several students, including juniors Jacob Miles and Lee Benson, took part in a National Hoodie Day, in support of the 17-year-old Florida high school who was murdered after buying Skittles and Arizona iced tea inside a gated complex in Sanford, Florida.
“I feel that what the man (George Zimmerman) did was out of pocket and the court should give him (Trayvon Martin) justice at least,” says Jacob Miles, a junior.
Zimmerman argued that he was in imminent danger of being attacked by Martin, who was at the time unarmed and pleading for his life, according to CNN.
“I’m angry. After all, this is just another example of how Black and Latino youth are targeted because of their skin color,” said Rafael (who would not give his last name), a Hispanic male in his 20’s from East Oakland, who was the apparent organizer of the rally. Rafael added, “We need a revolution!”
“I think George Zimmerman should serve a long sentence in jail, because he killed an innocent person. It was racial profiling: he just killed Trayvon since he was an African-American male, wearing a hoodie, just walking around,” argued Kardel Howard, a sophomore.
Zimmerman claimed to have been attacked by Martin before shooting him, and later took photos of himself with a broken nose and several cuts and bruises. The slug of the fatal round Zimmerman fired at Martin was lodged in the teen’s left chest before paramedics arrived and attempted CPR on him. Martin was later pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting.
Zimmerman’s defense team allegedly tried to form a jury with the least number of minorities as possible. They denied the allegating: “Absolutely not, but if there isn’t a black juror, that doesn’t mean anything either. It just means that we chose the best people based on their answers to their questions,” according to the New York Daily News.
“I feel like it’s not fair to choose people that are not minorities who can’t relate as much to Martin,” said Howard. “With more minority jurors, they can relate to racism and oppression better; it should be more balanced.”
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Tagged CNN Justice, court, CPR, death, exposing the system, Florida, gated complex, George Zimmerman, jury, McClymond opinion, minorities, National Hoodie Day, nude people, racism, Sanford, shooting, Trayvon Martin