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If only the two young men charged with the murder of Tyshanna “Chicken” Murphy looked like dangerous thugs, it would be easier to celebrate their arrests. But they do not. Tyshawn “Ta Ta” Brockington, 21, and Robert Cartagena, 20, look like a couple of guys from the neighborhood.
Tyshanna was a Queens girl, a basketball star who grew up in Queensbridge and moved to the Grant Houses a couple of years ago. She attended the Murray Bergtraum High School for Business Careers and was well-liked. Authorities contend she was shot when Cartagena, Brockington and an accomplice from the Manhattanville Houses went into the Grant Houses to “smoke someone.”
It seems likely the three young suspects did not contemplate what they are now accused of doing. They did not know Tyshanna. They found her in a stairwell talking with some friends at 4 a.m. and decided to take her life, authorities say.
At the same time, they threw their own lives away. Less than a week after the shooting, police found Cartagena and Brockington in South Carolina, and a third man was arrested. If convicted of weapons possession and murder 2, they will spend much of their lives in prison.
More than a thousand people attended 18-year-old Tyshanna’s funeral at an Astoria funeral home. She was a star on the varsity team and scouts from colleges were looking at her.
None of that mattered to the people who killed her. They apparently came to settle a dispute between the two houses.
The city and feds need to do more to keep guns out of the hands of immature gang members.
We are troubled by the story of the Queens parents who are accused of kidnapping their eight children from a foster care center in Forest Hills and then driving them out of state. The two, Shanel Nadal, 28, and Nephra Payne, 34, were arrested and ordered held on $75,000 bail.
It has not been made clear what they did in the first place to lose custody of their children. Nevertheless, we are moved by how much these parents wanted to be with their children.
We hope the city can find a way to put the parents back on track to regaining custody of their kids.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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