maryland-man-kills-black-homeless-man-hate-crime
Getty Images

Ohio Teen Killed Weeks After Opening Up About Domestic Violence In Facebook Post

17-year-old LaShonda Childs was trying to move on from an abusive relationship when she was murdered.  

With October being Domestic Violence Awareness month, the murder of 17-year-old LaShonda Childs is another crushing and tragic reminder of the number of black girls who suffer through intimate partner violence. Childs was shot and killed earlier in the week following a fatal run-in with her ex-boyfriend, Trendell Goodwin, who has been arrested and charged in her murder.

“If you see the signs don’t ignore it y’all. Domestic violence is real not just in movies,” Childs warned on Facebook on Sept. 21 in a detailed post sharing some of the many instance of abuse that she experienced during her relationship with Goodwin.

Nearly two weeks later, on Oct. 2, Childs was seated in the passenger side of a 2006 Chevrolet Impala driven by her boyfriend as Goodwin fired multiple shots into the vehicle. Childs’ boyfriend transported her to Grandview Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, where she was pronounced dead the following morning. Her death was ruled a homicide by a gunshot wound to the head.

Moments prior to the shooting, Childs called 911 to report that Goodwin “pointed a gun” at her boyfriend’s head. She also told the dispatcher that she had a restraining order against him.

“I’m scared," she said. “He’s got a gun. I can’t talk...I’m in a bad situation.”

The Cycle Of Abuse

Childs was trapped so deeply in the cycle of abuse, that she battled between protecting Goodwin, and moving on with her life. Her death reiterates the fear of being stalked and even killed, that contributes to why a number of domestic violence victims stay in abusive relationships.

Regardless of their partner's ethnic background, Black women experience intimate partner violence at a rate of 35 percent higher than whites and up to two-and-a-half times more than other races. Black women are four times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner of any ethnicity, and black teens are more like than white teens to be hit by a boyfriend or girlfriend. The most common age when women (of all races) first experience intimate partner violence is between 18-34, followed by girls ages 11-17.

In April, Childs wrote a letter asking Dayton Municipal Court Judge Daniel Gehres to release Goodwin from jail, after one of at least a dozen reported incidents of abuse dating back to 2017. According to the excerpts of the letter published by the Daytona Daily News, Childs’ insisted that Goodwin was a “genuinely kind hearted, family oriented man,” and described the assault as a “rough patch in a life together that resulted in a huge mess.”

Childs said that she and Goodwin were “good people with short tempers,” and that she wanted things to turn around. “Hopefully we can put this in our past and start over.”

Failed Order Of Protection

By early September, Judge Gehres ordered Goodwin to stay at least 500 feet away from Childs, and extended his probation (stemming from the April incident) another year. Goodwin broke the protective order within three days, reportedly showing up to Childs' home and setting one of her wigs on fire, throwing it at her and stealing her cell phone. Days after the alleged robbery, Goodwin was accused of firing shots at the home where Childs' lived with her family.

In early 2017, police were called after Goodwin broke Childs’ phone and threw her purse in the sewer, during an argument where he accused her of texting another man. Last Christmas Eve, Goodwin argued with Childs about more alleged text messages and dragged her out of a car by her feet, according to a police report. The domestic violence calls continued through April 2018, when Childs penned the letter to the judge. Roughly one month later, Childs’ mother told police that Goodwin shot up her house and threatened to kill her daughter. Childs’ mother also claims Goodwin, 28, told the teen that he was 20 years old when they first met.

“She was really in the process of leaving this time, but it was basically a fatal attraction,” her brother Jaylon said in an interview. “Whatever happens to him, we can’t get our sister back, but as long as justice is served, there may be some peace.”

Not Guilty Plea

Goodwin pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday (Oct. 5), which would have been Childs' 18th birthday. He was arraigned on two counts of murder and improper discharge of a firearm and three counts of felonious assault.

Speaking to Ohio's WHIO-TV, Goodwin’s father called the murder a “tragedy for both families,” and extended condolences to Childs’ loved ones. “It’s too late to say I wish things could have been different.”

He added that there are “two sides to every story,” and claimed that Childs’ boyfriend pulled a gun on his son. Despite defending him, Goodwin's father noted, “If it’s proven that he did it, he deserves to be punished.”

Goodwin’s lawyer requested the minimum bond available. The judge set a cash bond of $ 1 million. Goodwin's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 12.

READ MORE: Serena Williams On Domestic Violence: “This Is A Human Rights Issue”

From the Web

More on Vibe

The USC Annenberg School For Communication And Journalism Celebrates Commencement at The Shrine Auditorium on May 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

USC Will Offer Free Tuition For Students From Families Making Under $80,000

USC announced a new effort to make attending the university affordable to students from middle and low-income families. The school will offer free undergrad tuition for families making less than 80,000 a year, USC president Carol L. Folt announced on Thursday (Feb. 20).

Thanks to the new policies, owning a home will not be counted in calculating the student’s tuition needs.

“We’re opening the door to make a USC education possible for talented students from all walks life,” Folt said in a statement. “This significant step we are taking today is by no means the end of our affordability journey. We are committed to increasing USC’s population of innovators, leaders and creators regardless of their financial circumstances. Investing in the talent and diversity of our student body is essential to our education mission.”

The announcement comes as USC remains embroiled in an admissions scandal that became public last year.

As for the new policy, USC will increase undergraduate aid by $30 million annually which will expand financial aid for more than 4,000 students. The new policies will be implemented for incoming students beginning in the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

7.7. Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Jamaica, Cuba And Miami

A powerful earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday (Jan. 28) triggering temporary tsunami warnings and tremors felt as far away as South Florida. The 7.7. magnitude quake hit the waters between Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands, according to the United States Geological Survey and the International Tsunami Information Center.

The quake, which struck roughly 86 miles northwest off the coast of Montego Bay, Jamaica, resulted in multiple aftershocks including a a 6.1 tremor near the Cayman Island, and a 4.4 aftershock. “Light shaking” was also reported in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

“Despite the large size of the earthquake, the fact that it occurred offshore and away from high population areas lessened its societal impact,” the USGS said. The organization described the quake as “moderate shaking” in parts of Cuba and Jamaica.

The quake comes nearly a month after a 6.4. magnitude earthquake hit Puerto Rico, but the USGS said that the “seismic events” were unrelated.

Continue Reading
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Black People Make Up More Than 50% Of U.S. Homeless Population, Study Finds

Black people in the U.S. are disproportionately impacted by homelessness, per an Annual Homeless Assessment Report released by the Housing and Urban Department. According to the report, blacks account for more than 50% of the country’s homeless population, despite making up only 13% of the U.S. population.

“African Americans have remained considerably overrepresented among the homeless population compared to the U.S. population,” the report states. “African Americans accounted for 40% of all people experiencing homelessness in 2019 and 52% of people experiencing homelessness as members of families with children.

“In contrast, 48% of all people experiencing homelessness were white, compared with 77% of the U.S. population.” People identifying as Hispanic or Latino are bout “22% of the homeless population but only 18% of the populations overall.”

As of 2019, the U.S. homeless population swelled to 568,000, an increase of about 10,000 from the previous year. In 2019, Roughly 35,000 of those experiencing unaccompanied homelessness were under the age of 25, a 4% decrease from 2018. The number of those experiencing chronic homelessness increased by 9% between 2018 and 2019.

A staggering 52% of black families experience homelessness, compared to 35% for white families.

The goal of the report is to “demonstrate continued progress toward ending homelessness, but also a need to re-calibrate policy to make future efforts more effective and aligned with the unique needs of different communities.”

HUD, which is has been releasing the annual housing stats since 2007, shows a 3% bump in the number of those experiencing homelessness on any given night, a 16% increase in California, and a “decrease” in other states. California accounts for 53% (108,432 people) off all unsheltered homeless people in the country. Despite being only twice as large as Florida, California’s homeless population is nine times that of the Sunshine State, which came in at a distant second place with 6% (12,476 people). New York, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington have the highest rates of homelessness per 10,000 people.

Numerous variables come into play when determining the origin of the black homeless epidemic due to a longstanding system of oppression in housing, and beyond. Black families are twice as  likely to experience poverty in the U.S., compared to white families; and in spite of laws against open discrimination, black renters face overt and covert financial and racial prejudice, in addition to gentrification and the racial pay gap.

On Jan. 7, HUD unveiled a housing proposal that attempts to undue Obama-era housing mandates put in place to prevent racial discrimination. The newly-released proposal may end up further promoting racial discrimination.

Continue Reading

Top Stories