About 10 days ago, I wrote a post about an especially horrific afternoon of shootings here in New Orleans. A little girl, Brianna Allen, age 5, was shot to death that day while attending a birthday party, and a 33-year-old mother of three, Shawanna "Nonnie" Pierce, who was simply driving through the neighborhood, was also killed by a random bullet that entered first her car and then her body. Since my post, the city has buried both of these victims.
In that post, I also included a picture that to me illustrated the misery of not only that day of shooting (at least nine people were shot that afternoon) but the smothering oppression that seizes this city daily through the current reign of violent crime. Times Picayune photographer Michael DeMocker took that picture, and today the T-P published an essay he wrote under the headline "Tragedy rips away a newsman's hard shell: Guest column by photographer Michael DeMocker," in which DeMocker describes just what the headline says, how he, a seasoned journalist, lost it that day in New Orleans taking yet another picture of tragedy due to violent crime in our city. I strongly urge you to read his essay. Please, please, read it.