I remember seeing her boys, always laughing and dancing. That’s all they wanted to do. She nicknamed him “Lil Red” for the reddish tint of his dark brown hair. An energetic boy, her first born son, who grew into such a handsome young man with unlimited potential.

While I stood at his candle light vigil, his mother told the crowd of mourners that he “led a double life and was tussling with that”. He was getting things in order and pursuing his education but kept getting pulled back by his former life. At only 19, his former life was made up of childhood years and mistakes made by that of a child. Parris was still figuring out who he was and who he could become. But, for young boys of color, society and environments can be unforgiving places that allow children little room for mistakes. The newspaper will try and have you make sense of his death by painting the picture of him being “bad” or affiliated with gangs. But, they and we don’t know why his murderer took his life that fateful night while Parris sat next to him in that car. The press doesn’t always try to be fair and balanced and in the reporting of Parris Lane’s murder, I don’t feel they tried at all. They have degraded the character of the victim and for what? So people can read the articles and think that somehow a random killing makes sense? Parris was a victim of senseless gun violence. PERIOD. Parris wasn’t killed doing anything criminal, he was killed by someone he thought was a friend. His mother said on the news his murderer was someone they considered a friend, someone she opened her home up to. It seems Parris’ blind trust was his fatal mistake.

Parris, your broken-hearted Mother stood in the same spot you were slain, crying aloud to the heavens, she addressed the crowd:

The hole in my heart can never be filled. My baby died. Somebody left him here to die.

I looked at your brother. I pray God covers him with love, mercy, and protection. I want to show him there’s other ways out. I pray someone guides him. I need to do something but how?

I see in your Mother’s face that alongside her inconsolable grief is worry for her other sons.

His family and loved ones are in my constant thoughts and prayers. I pray God covers them with love, strength, protection, and guidance.



Parris Lane.

The memory of your beautiful spirit will forever remain.

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