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2.    Jason Terrence Richards, Ogden E. “G-Wizz” Coleman, Michael Shelton and Eric Thomas “Ock” Watkins: in the summer of 2004, all these guys were involved in the strangling death of a 15-year-old girl named Quartrina Johnson.

After murdering Quartrina in Baltimore City, the four drove her body to a Baltimore County park and burned it. After they were arrested, Shelton and Watkins cut deals with prosecutors and testified against Coleman and Richards.

Here’s the tale Shelton and Watkins told: Richards, a man of 24, was having sex with a girl, then only 13 years old.

Oh, that’s so “precious,” ain’t it, Cornel?

Quartrina was the girl’s foster sister. After their foster mom got wind of the relationship between Richards and the 13-year-old, Quartrina was all set to testify against him in a statutory rape case.

The 13-year-old, tired “of her foster mother telling her what to do,” decided to run away with Richards. Quartrina, not wanting to see her sister go with Richards alone, went with them.

Quartrina was strangled to keep her from testifying. Oh, and she was just as black as the four “precious” men responsible for her death.

3.    Derrick Taylor and Corey McMillon: in January of 2005 these two forced their way into a Baltimore halfway house. They were looking to collect a drug debt from a man named Antwon Arthur.

They held all the occupants of the house at gunpoint while they threatened Arthur. Nathaniel Gulliver, one of the occupants of the house, asked how much money Arthur owed them.

After learning the amount, Gulliver volunteered to empty his bank account to pay the debt. He left, accompanied by either McMillon or a third man who was with Taylor and McMillon, to walk to a nearby automated teller machine and get the money.

But giving the money to Taylor didn’t mollify his taste for murder. He shot Arthur anyway, and then either he or McMillon shot Gulliver and two other men in the house.

Ah, that was a precious act indeed, was it not, Mr. West?

Full disclosure: Gulliver was my first cousin. His murder, Quartrina’s murder and the torching of the Dawsons doesn’t make me feel like black America’s criminal element is as “precious” as West says it is.

But maybe I’m just funny that way.

(Photo: Retna)

Cornel West and the ‘P’ Word: West’s Description of Brothers in Jail as ‘Precious’ Misses the Mark  was originally published on

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