A beautiful young woman will be buried tomorrow...her life cut short by bullets last weekend. Elizabeth Hernandez came from a good..hardworking family. She was a kind , beautiful, responsible young woman and did not deserve to die the way she died. Her mother, a hard working parent..a genuinely good person..did not deserve to have her daughter taken away from her .
I have stated in the past that Lawrence is a place of hope. I have tried to point out all the good that exists in the city..a city that holds a special place in the hearts of many. This week..it's been hard for me to see the good in Lawrence. In fact, I told one of my young, pregnant coworkers just the other day that the most important thing she could do for her son to be would be to move out of Lawrence.
The senseless and violent murder of Elizabeth Hernandez should be laid at the feet of the coward who shot her..in cold blood..for no reason other than she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That being said...anyone with experience in Lawrence has to know this murder was retribution. Hernandez' boyfriend was a low life with ties to drugs and guns...and no doubt someone came looking for him..and she was collateral damage. The corrupt and ineffective government has contributed to an environment where people who live in the city ..live in a state of fear. It's quite possible that the low life who did this will never be caught. No one wants to talk out of fear. The cuts to the police department and the drug unit have allowed the situation in Lawrence to get out of control. Did you know there are laws in place that prevent selling or using drugs in a school zone? You wouldn't know it in Lawrence..happens every day...and there is no one home to stop it. The criminals are taking over..in fact they've already taken over. The bar has been set so low in the city...that anything seems to go.
It would be simplistic to say that this was an isolated incident...but Elizabeth is the third young person whose funeral I will attend ...who has lost their lives to gun and drug violence. Two of my friends lost sons in the last few years.
I like to think there is always hope...but this week..that hope seems to be dimmer than it ever was.