- Martez McKibben
- I received the following notice from several people in Atlanta:
21-year-old Kavader [Martez] McKibben was murdered Friday night while working at the Moreland Package store. He was killed while two men committed an armed robbery – they shot him even though he’d already given them the money they asked for. It all sounds too similar to the way John Henderson was murdered not even one year ago.McKibben was known by many in our community and has been described as the guy who was never in a bad mood and was always nice to everyone; was a pleasure to talk – had a good heart and a warm smile.
We will be gathering in the parking lot of the package store tomorrow night [that would be tonight] at 7 to show our support of his family and friends. The Moreland Package store is located near the intersection of Moreland Ave and Wylie St – beside the old Texaco gas station and across from the new Goodfella’s Pizza. Please join us, bring some friends and your candles, and let’s show our support for this sweet young man’s family and friends. We will also be collecting money for his family to use to pay for funeral expenses. If you’d like to donate, please bring a check with you to the vigil and we’ll let you know who to make it out to once we’re there.
- I don’t know if I ever met Kavander, but the older Asian man who owned the store was always kind to anyone who walked in the door, as were his employees. You set a tone, and people rise to the occasion, and that’s how the social contract keeps going. I often went to the convenience store across the street, and the laundromat a block south, and the Mexican restaurant down from the package store, the one in the holler.
I mention these places because all of them get hit repeatedly by criminals. When you think about it, there are few places where people haven’t had their lives threatened by common criminals along that strip of Moreland, and, frankly, emanating out from it in every direction, throughout the city.
McKibbon’s mother also worked in the package store, for 20 years. What will she do now? Shaun Yu, the store owner, talks about watching McKibbon grow up in this amazingly sad Fox 5 interview. Yu remembers the young man as a child of 10 and talks about the sense of humor the two shared.
When will enough be enough? Judges in Atlanta act as if their courtrooms are private fiefdoms; prosecutors are too busy playing politics for their own professional advancement to bother expending political capital by asking for the money they need to do their jobs properly.
Certain professional activists fat with grant dollars don’t pause to consider the consequences as they waddle towards the nearest microphone to lash out at the police or underhandedly encourage adolescents to “stop snitching” (until, of course, they get that grant from the Chief to encourage snitching instead).
Meanwhile, decent, hard-working people like Martez McKibben and his boss, and all the other working people up and down Moreland Avenue are left to fend for themselves, as if they’re living in some post-apocalyptic movie, paid for with their own tax dollars.
‘How dare you complain?’ the politicians and police chiefs and newspaper editors sneer. ‘It’s the big city, kiddies, crime happens. Not where we live, of course, in our Inman Park mansions and gated penthouses with private patrols and security guards. Didn’t we tell you it’s just a perception of crime? The numbers are down, you hysterics. Our pals in academia say they’re down, so how dare you complain about it.’