Tacoma Cares: Hector Hernandez-Valdez Edition

No Country for Old Memorials
posted Jul 10, 2012
tacoma, tacomic, hector hernandez-valdez, tacoma police, cultural insensitivity
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Just read this follow up Kits TNT story today about Hector, the teen who was murdered by his teen friends and stuffed in a recycle bin after mom came home and was unconvinced by her homicidal children's lies that all the blood everywhere was from an attempt to make chili.  If only those at-risk-youths could have played after-school sports lament the police blog.  Sure, but what about that follow up Kits story...  a community in grief putting together a memorial on the exact site where the recycle bin was stuffed with a murdered child called a nuisance?   Guess some memorials are more equal than others? Or as Comrade O'Tool puts it: "Memorials are OK for people of the correct ethnic and social classes."   SO IT GOES.   REPORT MARGINALIZED ETHNIC GROUP DEATH MEMORIAL TO TACOMA CARES PROGRAM! They'll get code enforcement out there ASAP.   You think Seattle has the monopoly on cultural insensitivity?  That's prejudiced thinking!

NPR recently got me thinking about this racial stuff. We do not live in a post-race society no matter what you might think.

AND It's never too late to fire the Police Chief!


next week:  das German Billionaire!

by NineInchNachos on 7/10/2012 @ 2:09am

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by fredo on 7/10/2012 @ 8:12am
  I read the story. It didn't say the memorial was being removed for purposes of cultural insensitivity or anything like that. The "memorial" was becoming a nuisance to the neighbors. There were late nate drinkers and taggers out there and neighbors were becoming concerned. Pretty sure if some rowdy folks were assembling in the middle of the every night behind your property and spray painting everything you'd be calling 911 yourself.

by Jesse on 7/10/2012 @ 8:20am
I don't understand why people memorialize someone by where they died.  Shouldn't they be remembered by how they lived?

by NineInchNachos on 7/10/2012 @ 8:34am
some people just don't wanna be inconvenienced by some kid's senseless murder.

by Jesse on 7/10/2012 @ 9:01am
What if people started tagging your garage?  Wouldn't you want them to go away?

by fredo on 7/10/2012 @ 9:08am
Everyone agrees it was a senseless murder.

The police allowed a temporary memorial and allowed a period of time for everyone to pay their respects. After awhile the memorial became less of an honor to the poor teen who got killed and more a place for folks to party. It was all described in the story. 

Is it your opinion that these "memorials" be allowed to exist and expand forever until they result in yet additional acts of violence? I thought the police were very sensitive to all the parties involved.

by NineInchNachos on 7/10/2012 @ 9:56am
I totally see where you guys are coming from... but  the community has singled it out as a holy place. A child was martyred there in that spot.   Is it right to just paint over and pretend nothing is wrong?   I don't know.  "patrolmen want it gone yesterday"  leaves me feeling cold.

by NineInchNachos on 7/10/2012 @ 9:58am
Would be interesting to document these impromptu folk art events, assemble them into a photo book.  

a collection of forgotten memorials!

by Maria on 7/10/2012 @ 2:18pm
Hmm, it's distressing the mourning time was cut off, but, as others have said, it sounds like it started to be less about expression of grief and more about damaging property and getting drunk late at night. The neighborhood is concerned that some people are using their sadness to create unhealthy patterns in that alley...which might result in crime, gang activity or another injury/worse.

But I like what you said on FB, RR, that it would have been nice to put up a temporary plywood wall and let everyone tag it and create some art. That's a cool way of being responsive and also saying, hey, the other memorial is concluding, so let's do something to honor the victim.

The question is, where would that piece of art reside, and who would take responsibility for it?

Perhaps it could have been photographed and then put into a book for the family, re: your idea above. And the plywood could then have been recycled into something else, which is a nice way to honor a memory.

by fredo on 7/10/2012 @ 2:38pm
If you want to do something to honor your friend Hector, then stay in school, say "no" to drugs and druggies,  and make something of yourself. 

But since RR favors a playwood wall maybe he could install it right next to the free library in his alleyway.  But be forewarned, there will always be somebody who isn't finished "mourning" yet and wants the display to remain intact even if means years or decades of inconvenience to everyone else.

by NineInchNachos on 7/10/2012 @ 3:02pm
friends don't let friends stab friends in the face!

by jenyum on 7/10/2012 @ 5:16pm
I don't know, the article says Hector's mother gave her blessing to removing it. If the neighborhood is finding it disruptive and the victim's family is fine with removing it I don't think this is about cultural insensitivity. If anything it might be more about lack of communication between the generations in the neighborhood.

by jenyum on 7/10/2012 @ 8:08pm
The Lincoln community could pull together to do something like the Zina Linnick project, that isn't on private property. It could be they are already working on something.

by fredo on 7/10/2012 @ 9:02pm

Zina Linnick was a completely innocent victim. A public memorial makes sense.Hector's association with his assailants was a little murkier. I don't know that a public memorial is called for.

by NineInchNachos on 7/10/2012 @ 10:45pm
Zina Linnick is totally different... no official police lying cover ups to hide alarming police fuck up.   No need to suck up to family to try and avoid lawsuit.

by NineInchNachos on 7/10/2012 @ 10:47pm
The people know there will be no permanent public memorial for Hector (besides grave site?), so they rightly take matters into their own hands.  #occupygrief !