Mugging in the Church Parking Lot

Most every Wednesday night from September through May, I go to Calvary Lutheran Church at 39th and Chicago for choir rehearsal at 7pm.

Last night, at about 6:50pm, one of our members got mugged near Calvary Lutheran’s parking lot. All I know is it was a black guy. He got her bag (so money, id, cell phone, etc.), her music, and her newly purchased choir shirt. She got the license plate of the car he drove off in, but it turned out to be a stolen vehicle.

I had actually arrived at the church at 6pm for another rehearsal. I had just left some of my fellow choir members who were having dinner at Jakeeno’s three blocks up the street. So I was sitting inside the church, warm and cozy, singing away while this was happening.

Someone did call 911 and the police arrived right away, because we saw them as we came down the stairs heading to regular rehearsal.

There’s not really anything she could have done differently to prevent this. At the same time, the onus is not on the victim to prevent this. You take reasonable precautions and you expect your fellow human beings to be decent.

There’s not really anything I could have done differently to prevent this. I’m glad it didn’t happen to me, and I feel guilty for feeling that.

I imagined what I might do if it had been me. I hope I never find out. Part of me thinks that because I’m black, that makes me less of a target. I have no idea if the crime statistics bear out that the likelihood of my being a mugging victim are reduced based on any outwardly apparent demographic information.

In the two years I lived in Uptown, my car was never broken into, even though there were a number of incidents in the parking lot of my apartment building (I parked on the street). I never once felt unsafe walking around at any time of day or night. Maybe I was safe because I projected that. Maybe I was just lucky.

She seemed to be in good spirits. She came on in and sat through rehearsal. She sat right in front of me, in fact. I would have been shaken and probably more angry. She seemed to be happy that it wasn’t worse and that she was physically safe.

It wasn’t even me, and I feel violated.

So be aware, folks. You’re not 100% safe all the time, no matter where you are.

1 Comment so far

  1. Funchilde (unregistered) on December 1st, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

    I’m sorry your colleague/acquaintance was the target of something ridiculous, but in light of what could have happened…I’m so glad it wasn’t worse. a)I hope your guilt passes quickly, it is a normal response to be relieved and a normal response to feel guilty that it wasn’t you. b) I often felt the same way on my travels, stuff would happen to various folks and I was like…”whew” glad it wasn’t me, no less sad for them but glad not to have to deal with xyz. c) I TOTALLY believe that being brown has kept me safe/made me less of a target around the world. The flip side of some of the negative stereotypes is that yeah, people are a little less likely to f* w/ brown folks. I’ve never been in a fight in my life but nobody has to know that :-)

    And for what its worth, I’m really glad it wasn’t you too.

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