FERGUSON, Missouri — Two men have been murdered here since Michael Brown’s death, but the slayings have been met with pervasive silence. The violent deaths of Robin “Jerry” Poindexter and DeAndre Joshua are unknown to many protesters and residents of Ferguson, and the victims’ families feel with good reason that police put the crimes on the back burner.
Jerry died next to his friend Hustle, as the pair dodged bullets intended for another target in early October. DeAndre died alone in his car the night of the grand jury announcement essentially clearing Officer Darren Wilson, shot in the head before his killer tried to torch the vehicle. Both men, victims of crimes that might normally warrant more attention, have become footnotes in an international-reaching story of race and justice in America. Both men’s families now walk a lonely path in keeping Jerry and DeAndre’s memories alive, faced each day with the fact that many in Ferguson don’t want discuss anything involving Jerry and DeAndre.
But Gerri Thompson, who watched Jerry die from her balcony in October, will talk. She wants to talk. She misses the conversations that used to flow in Ferguson.