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OPINION | EDITORIAL: Two shot after UAPB game not to praise

October 23, 2022 at 4:46 a.m.


It had that "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job" feel to it.

The speaker was President George W. Bush. "Brownie" was Michael D. Brown, head of FEMA. And the good job, the president was referring to, was the mess Brown was credited with creating during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

That's a long way around the barn to refer to something Mayor Shirley Washington said the other day in praising new Police Chief Denise Richardson for keeping things safer during this year's homecoming than in years past.

Richardson is not Brownie and homecoming is not a hurricane, and we could hardly blame Richardson for anything bad or good at this point in her new job as top cop.

But are we spraining our arms patting ourselves on the back for what happened the evening after UAPB's homecoming?

Two people were shot that night. A woman, sitting in the back seat of a car, was struck in the jaw by a bullet. And a man, a few blocks away, was struck in the shoulder. Take a ruler and see how many inches it is from your jaw to your brain. And the shoulder shot? That's awfully close to vital organs, including the heart.

We hardly think that we should be touting our post-game performance. On the contrary, for two years running now, people have been shot.

No one should forget last year. A dozen or so people were shot and two young men were killed. One was at a party in a downtown venue, and the other was in a separate group away from downtown. No arrests have been made.

So zero dead is certainly an improvement over two dead. But it's likely a matter of inches from this year being exactly the same as last year. From that perspective, the selfie high five falls quite flat. Looked at a different way, the two-year record shows we in Pine Bluff are incapable of celebrating a homecoming without people being hurt and worse.

Once we break that streak, yes, throw some confetti, fist-bump and clink the champagne glasses. But until then, let's not get too excited just because someone went to the hospital and not a funeral home.


Print Headline: 2 shot after UAPB game not to praise

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