Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another Spontaneous Memorial To Another Senseless Shooting...



Photo and blog post by John Hoff

Marvin Ray Maynard III, age 16, didn't live much of his life before getting shot dead in some nothing argument with a group of teenagers. The shooting happened on the 2600 block of James Ave. N. According to the Star Tribune, Maynard had just gotten back from a stint at the Redwing juvenile corrections facility and was thinking about finishing high school and getting his life back on track.

Mainstream media coverage made mention of the street memorial, but no pictures of it have been published. I thought it would be socially useful to publish these images for the sake of completeness of the historical record.

Am I just being a stick-in-the-snow, or is it really inappropriate to leave a Seagram's gin bottle at a memorial for a minor?

(Do not click "Read More")




17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agreed, hardly and example for friends to follow. There is a culture change that needs to occur and I've no idea how that might be accomplished.

Anonymous said...

Its also wrong to write "Nigga..." Small wonder, with this "memorial" that for some people life goes cheap.....

Anonymous said...

If I ever get shot, please don't memorialize me by placing, throwing, putting, tying, hanging, dropping, smearing, painting, or otherwise leaving, garbage behind in my honor.

Anonymous said...

The gin bottle, as inappropriate as it may seem on the surface, is somebody's heartfelt way to memorialize. It obviously means something to somebody. I'd let it go.

Anonymous said...

Unshoveled sidewalks are an especially annoying thing to see. As a good neighborhood resident, I shovel the sidewalks of vacant lots. I refuse to shovel the sidewalks of occupied homes.

People need to get off their butts and shovel.

Johnny Northside said...

To anonymous at 8:28 a.m.

So if somebody left a dime bag of weed, it should just be looked upon as a "heartfelt way to memorialize?" I should be, what, TOUCHED by that?

This kid ended up dead not because a random bullet fell from the sky, but as a predictable end to the lifestyle he was living. Much is revealed about who his friends and associates were from what was left at the spontaneous memorial. It's not the habit of this blog to look the other way or fail to call bullshit on what is right in front of my face.

Anonymous said...

Trust me on this one... If all that stuff is still there in a year, decomposing and becoming one (sort of) with next year's unshoveled sidewalk... Don't try to remove any of it. You WILL start a riot. People you've never seen will be in your face in a matter of minutes. Personal experience here. I tried to move a pile of *broken* liquor bottles and assorted, ahem, *garbage* that had been lingering for 16 months after another pointless killing. People freaked out!

Anonymous said...

"So if somebody left a dime bag of weed, it should just be looked upon as a "heartfelt way to memorialize?""
-- Intent and context is everything. If that what somebody wants to leave, no skin off my nose.

"I should be, what, TOUCHED by that?"
--Does it matter whether or not YOU are touched?
It wasn't left for you, or by you. I see it as between the deceased and the griever.

I think there are a lot of totems and practices we find odd that are normal in another culture.
The Hmong involve a rooster in their wedding ceremony. Why? I dunno'. Don't care. It's their thing. I'm too old to get worked up over a gin bottle unless it's mine and it's empty.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

@ Anon 12:58 - Here's the crux of my argument against your possibly misguided attempt at excessive tolerance: Whose property is this memorial on?

I frankly don't want empty liquor bottles, dime bags (hypothetical in this case), or repeated uses of the "N-word" prominently displayed ANYWHERE in my neighborhood. Not to mention year-old decaying stuffed animals. But if it's on your property and you're not breaking any laws then there's not much to be said about it.

My guess - and it's only a guess at this point - is that there's a decent chance that no one associated with the makeshift memorial actually owns the property where it's placed or got any kind of permission from the owner. And if that's the case, I'm deeply sorry for their loss, but putting up a memorial in this way subjects you to the opinions of the community as a whole (and the owner of the property specifically).

Johnny Northside said...

I think it's best to allow a memorial like this to remain a decent amount of time (I think a week is sufficient) and then it should be cleaned up by the person who STARTED it.

If they don't clean it up, 311 will have to be called to take care of it. Your tax dollars at work.

Due to how many murders have happened up here, if the memorials didn't GO AWAY at some point, our neighborhood would look like a cemetery. Memorials to the dead should be erected on PRIVATE PROPERTY. If they are on public property, there must be an assumption that the memorial is TEMPORARY and no offense should be taken when it is removed.

As I've told my son when I teach him the mysteries of life and death: the dead have to make way for the living.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1113 here.
JNS: I tend to agree w/ your assessment of the public/private property issues, responsibility for clean up, etc. In my instance, after 16 months of driving by what had become a pile of broken glass and shredded plastic "memorial," and after repeated--- yes, repeated attempts to get the folks at 3-1-1 (the City) and MNDOT (state highway involved) to clean up the pile of glass... I started doing it myself, cuz I was tired of looking at it.

daningo said...

What I find sad in this situation is knowing some of the family. I didn't know the victim but have seen the stress on some of his younger siblings who are really good kids (we are very involved with them through our church). One of his younger bros has never gotten in trouble and has a goal of being a police officer someday. It is painful to see his pain in this mess. They are lots of good kids in North Minneapolis and this garage affects them which is sad.

Cleveland Guy said...

The nature of the memorial says so much about the friends of this victim. It isn't heartfelt. If it is, what dark desparate hearts. It seems to memorialize a life destined to be short anyway. If anything, it devalues their "nig."

Are there any city codes governing what is appropriate for these types of displays, and how long they can stay up?

On what may seem like an unrelated note, decaying, obscene memorials discourage people from moving into our neighborhood. Try to sell a house on that block! This perpetuates the idea of the area as someplace only fit for people who's lives mirror the victim's.

MeganG. said...

Well Said, Cleveland Guy.

Just today, someone was coming to my house, got a little turned around and ended up on James, driving past this memorial. He commented about it.

He's not from north - but this memorial is what he will remember about north.

Ha. Guess it works as a 'memorial' then.

Anonymous said...

In some odd, kind of way the people who want this stuff to stay could also be seen as once again, marking their territory. All the more reason to remove it after a reasonable amount of time.

MikeT said...

I think once there is an internment in a cemetery, that then becomes the appropriate place to grieve. These makeshift memorials should come down after a few days, with the people that left them being the ones to retrieve their items.

As far as what they consist of; well, I'd leave that up to the people that leave them.

AAA said...

I agree with JNS. A "memorial" of this type makes the whole neighborhood look bad. NoMi has enough troubles with perception/reputation without this sort of thing by the street. My only quibble would be that I doubt a dime bag of weed would last very long on the streets of NoMi.