Chances are you’ve never heard of Christopher Rose. Don’t feel bad if you don’t. After all, he wasn’t wearing a hoodie or carrying ice tea and Skittles when he was killed. Nope, there were no marches or protests in the interest of justice for Christopher. But then again, he died so long ago back in 2005 that I don’t remember if his death created an uproar. I’m willing to bet that his name was never mentioned at least once on FOX News back then. Christopher has the dubious distinction of being the first person in the United States to be killed for an iPod.
Remember when those things were new? Thankfully we don’t hear people being killed for iPods anymore. I suppose that says something about their popularity. But then again, I don’t hear about young black teens being killed for Starter jackets like they used to either. Remember those days?
This from The New York Times from back then:
Two Brooklyn teenagers were arrested early yesterday on charges that they robbed and killed a 15-year-old boy in the Farragut neighborhood when they stole his friend’s iPod, the police said.
The victim, Christopher Rose, was walking with three other boys late Saturday afternoon when a large group of teenagers approached them and demanded that they turn over the iPod that one of the boys was carrying, according to the police and witnesses. When the boys refused, one of the suspects began hitting them, said Kenneth, 15, who was with Christopher at the time of the attack. Then someone stabbed Christopher twice in the chest.
Law enforcement officials have warned in recent months that iPods have prompted an increase in thefts on the subways, and that teenagers are particularly vulnerable targets of iPod thefts by other teenagers.
The police said yesterday that they had charged Darran Samuel, 16, and Daryl Stephen, 17, with murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with Christopher’s death. Relatives of both boys, reached at their homes in Brooklyn, said the youths had no history of violence.
[…] Christopher attended school in Bushkill, Pa., where his parents said they had sent him with the hope that he might be safer and receive a better education.
“We sent him out there to get away from this horrible life,” Christopher’s father, Errol Rose, said yesterday. “All these years – seven and a half years – I’ve been back and forth from Pennsylvania with this boy. He didn’t last too long before they rubbed him out.”
Christopher and his friends were on their way to the Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch a bus back to Pennsylvania on Saturday when they were attacked. Usually, someone would drive him to the subway or take him to the bus terminal, Mr. Rose said. But since he and his wife were attending a wedding, Mr. Rose said he gave Christopher permission to head back on his own. It was one of the few times the Roses had allowed Christopher to walk around the neighborhood alone.
Nostalgia aside, it’s good to see that at least one community has turned a tragedy into something positive. Not only has a street been renamed for Christopher, his family is now committed to putting and end to youth violence across Brooklyn, NY.
So yeah, run tell that to Bill O’Reilly and the many others who say black folks do not care about black-0n-black crime. Christopher Rose’s name may never be mentioned in the same breath as Trayvon Martin or Emitt Till; but nonetheless, it’s good to see it’s permanence by way of a Brooklyn street.
This from Brooklyn News 12:
BROOKLYN – A street in East Flatbush has been renamed for a teen who was killed there during a robbery several years ago.
Friends, family and public officials gathered for the unveiling of Christopher Rose Way at East 40th Street and Avenue D. The 15-year-old was stabbed to death just blocks from his home back in 2005 during a robbery.
Rose’s death garnered the unfortunate distinction of being the first time a person was murdered for an iPod in the U.S.
Read More: Brooklyn Top Stories
At today’s ceremony, attendees sang, danced and spoke of a renewed effort to reduce crime in Brooklyn communities.
Definitely watch the video below: