Things That Matter

Neighbors In Shock After Father Wife, Kids, And Mother-In-Law Killed But One Person Survived

On Sunday, Aug. 25, a 35-year-old man shot and killed his wife, mother-in-law, daughter, and himself in a murder-suicide in Florida.

But miraculously, one of his twin daughters survived the shooting.

Credit: @PPinesPD / Twitter

The Pembroke Pines Police and Fire Departments were called to the scene in this suburban Florida town in Broward County, after a woman called 911. According to a press release statement by the Pembroke Pines Police Department, the woman on the other end of the phone was screaming in Spanish.

Pembroke Pines Police Captain Adam Feiner said the woman who initially made the call was the mother-in-law. She called on Sunday, but was disconnected and never was able to relay the address of the house. Police were able to locate the address of the distressed caller.

“As police officers responded to the residence, 911 operators upgraded the call and provided information that a male subject murdered family members and intended to end his own life,” police said in a statement. “When police officers arrived, a rapid action team was immediately assembled and first responders entered the home. A preliminary investigation revealed multiple deceased victims, seemingly from gunshot wounds.”

When police and detectives arrived, they noticed the bodies in the house but didn’t realize one of the twins was alive until later.  

Credit: @MWrightWPLG / Twitter

The 3-year-old survived the shooting. Police said that the surviving daughter was released from a local hospital, and was currently in the care of family members until child custody arrangements are established. Those deceased include 36-year-old Sandra Colon, her mother Olga Alvarez, 61, her killer and husband  Pablo Colon, Jr., and one of his twin daughters. Police say he died of a “self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

“Certainly this was a very traumatic event for her to experience,” the police captain said during a news conference earlier this week. “The agency has done everything possible to ensure the child has the most adequate and available resources to help her during this unfortunate incident.”

Neighbors say they are completely shocked that the husband and father of two would kill his family. He was always considered the “quiet one.”

Credit: @Univision23 / Twitter

“I’ve never heard of anything like that here and I’ve been here for probably close to 15 years,” another neighbor said, according to the Daily Mail. Other news reports say that Pablo was the owner of his own company — a local electrical service business — and they lived well in a gated Grand Palms Golf and Country Club community. However, other media reports that he had his family had only been living in that house for six months and that it was rented. People magazine reports that the couple had only been married since May

Police say that the crime is still under investigation. 

Credit: @ElmoloveLT / Twitter

They are still calling Pablo a suspect in the case and can’t rule out anything until after the investigation is over. There’s no way of knowing what the motive was in this case, but whatever made him commit this alleged crime there will never be an excuse for it. Perhaps their extended family will be able to provide information as to the mindset of this killer. 

Yesterday, a local reporter noted that a trial was held where several of their family members attended.

 Credit: @NekiMohanWPLG / Twitter

“Relatives pack a Broward County Courtroom for shelter hearing for 3-year-old left orphaned after a murder-suicide,” Neki Mohan tweeted. “Police say Pablo Colon Jr killed his wife, her mother and one of the twin daughters before killing himself in Pembroke Pines on Sunday Night.”

We just hope that this little girl, the surviving victim, goes to a family that will really take care of her. 

READ: Two Mothers Fighting To Get Rid Of Gun Violence Were Shot And Killed In Their Own Chicago Neighborhood

A Chiapas Mayor Was Dragged From His Office And Dragged Behind A Truck By Angry Residents

Things That Matter

A Chiapas Mayor Was Dragged From His Office And Dragged Behind A Truck By Angry Residents

@Tabalminutomx / Twitter

Police had to intervene and save the life of the mayor of Las Margaritas in Chiapas, Mexico. The mayor, like many politicians throughout Mexico, was the victim of angry residents who want him to follow through on campaign promises but he hasn’t.

Disturbing video out of Mexico shows a mayor of a village in Chiapas being dragged behind a pickup truck.

Credit: @hollywoodcurry / Twitter

According to BBC, the farmers in the village are demanding that Mayor Jorge Luis Escandón Hernández follow through on one campaign promise. The mayor promised the farmers to fix a local road but they are getting angry that he has not followed through with the promise so far.

The entire abduction was captured on video and is gaining international attention.

Credit: @MujerFulminante / Twitter

“This si getting out of control,” tweeted @MujerFulminante.

There has been growing violence in Mexico against politicians. Mainly, Mexican mayors and candidates have been killed by drug cartel members and leaders who don’t want the politicians to fight their corruption.

Bystanders recorded the mob of people dragging the mayor out of his office with his wrists tied together.

BBC reports that dozens of police officers were needed to end the attack on the mayor of Las Margaritas. It was the second attack on Mayor Escandón Hernández over the local road he promised to fix during his campaign.

CCTV footage from later in the day showed the actual dragging of the mayor behind the truck.

Miraculously, the mayor was rescued by the police and only suffered minor injuries as a result. He is planning to file charges against the people responsible for the attack. The mayor is filing charges of abduction and attempted murder against the mob who attacked him.

Eleven people were arrested in connection with the attack.

Credit: @NYadMEX / Twitter

“Is this savagery necessary,” asked @NYadMEX on Twitter.

There was an earlier attack on the mayor but he was not present when the group of angry residents arrived. The first time the group tried to attack the mayor, he was not in the office when they entered so they destroyed his office.

READ: A Politician From Mexico Revealed Santa Claus Isn’t Real In An Event Filled With Kids

A Twenty-One Year Old Man Overslept On His First Day Of Jury Duty And Now He’s Being Sentenced To Jail And Has A Record

Things That Matter

A Twenty-One Year Old Man Overslept On His First Day Of Jury Duty And Now He’s Being Sentenced To Jail And Has A Record

screenshot | NBC Nightly News

These days, it doesn’t take much poking around to know that our country’s judicial system is problematic, troublesome and inherently racist. A few months ago, when news broke out about the college admissions scandals, those following the news knew well that the wealthy parents who took part in the scam would walk away essentially scot-free. They weren’t wrong. 

Earlier last month, on September 13th, actress Felicity Huffman, one of the most recognizable names caught up in the admissions scandal, was sentenced to just 14 days in federal prison for her involvement in a case that saw her charged for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Huffman’s case highlighted questions of inequity in our judicial system. Many were quick to point out that Huffman, like the other three dozen parents involved, were from extreme wealth and would undoubtedly be treated differently from poor or nonwhite defendants accused of admission and education fraud. For severe charges that were lobbed at white-collar crime convicts like former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling and took education opportunities away from students far less privileged than her own kids, Huffman received 14 days in jail. 

Twenty-one-year-old Deandre Somerville should have been so lucky. 

The Florida man from West Palm Beach was sentenced to 10 days in jail this past week after a judge found him in criminal contempt of court after he overslept and missed the start of a trial he had been selected to serve jury duty for. At the time, Somerville looked up the repercussions online and according to NBC News said that he “didn’t really see too much there. … [It looked like] nobody actually ever really went to jail for it.”  Because of this, he did not notify the court or its jury office.

Deandre Somerville was sentenced to 10 days in jail, one year of probation and 150 hours of community service for failing to show up for jury duty.

The 21-year-old was also told to write a letter of apology to the court and pay $223 to cover court costs. Speaking about his own sentence, Somerville told NBC that he felt as if he “didn’t need any rehabilitation… I just made a mistake.”

According to Somerville, his 10 days in jail were “traumatic.” Sommerville who recently moved in with his grandparents to help care for them had never been arrested before now has a criminal record for contempt and spent his 10 days in jail amongst hardened criminals and in fear. 

The judge who gave Somerville his sentencing stemmed from his duty to represent his Black community.

Speaking at Somerville’s formal apology in court, Judge John Kastrenakes, of Fort Lauderdale Florida, said that he wanted to “make an example” out of Somerville to ensure more people do not fail to show up to jury duty. “Mr. Somerville was the only African American on our jury and represented a very important cross-section of our community.”

But people of color have long been used to “make an example,” when privileged nonpeople of color have caused greater harm and damage and gotten off easy. 

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was quick to underline this point in a recent tweet shared with her profile. 

“Mass incarceration is our American reality. It is a system whose logic evolved from the same lineage as Jim Crow, American apartheid, & slavery. To end it, we have to change. That means we need to have a real conversation about decarceration & prison abolition in this country,” she wrote in a retweet of a post shared by comedian Chelsea Handler who also lambasted the judge for his decision. 

AOC’s retweet went onto highlight in a thread the flaws of our judicial system citing a recent experience she had meeting a woman who had been sent to Rikers as a teen.” Yesterday morning I spoke with a woman who was thrown in Rikers as a teenager. Put in solitary confinement for MONTHS, aka torture. Force-fed pills. The conditions were so bad, she too had drank out of toilets. A cage is a cage is a cage. And humans don’t belong in them,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

The young Congresswoman’s thread highlights the severe punishments people of color have and continued to endure at the cost of our country’s broken prison and judicial system. Her message is a reminder that the actual point of the prison system is to rehabilitate, not punish those who are incarcerated and sent to jail or prison.