It’s week 19 in the year of our Lord 2020 and Chester is dealing with its 18th murder victim. It’s become so common that no one makes any noise – unless it’s a kid. Residents quietly shake their heads in disgust and city government continues to refuse to offer a statement on each case individually. 

What’s worse, the murder or the lack of government response? The murder, of course, but silence is deadly, too.

Being the semi-journalist you guys claim I am, I have to take a pause from this sad and disturbing news to report on the reporting of this incident in the paper. I’ve never been a fan of reporters reporting directly from a police report because there’s always so much more to the story when you come down and talk to the people. They may not share who shot the gun, but they can add some humanity to the victim so he doesn’t look like a bad guy all the time.

And then sometimes you just have to leave some stuff that’s in the police report out of the paper. Here’s today’s example…

Police were in the area of Concord and Lamokin streets conducting a vehicle investigation at about 10:46 p.m. when they heard approximately seven to 10 gunshots ring out from the area of the Ruth L. Bennett housing complex, according to a release issued Thursday.

If I were writing it I’d probably say police heard shots coming from a block away and immediately went to investigate.

I don’t see the need to draw attention to or tacitly indict the entire population Ruth L. Bennett residents. The street address of the shooting would have been enough.

If I may steal a line from our president and use it in a sincere sense – Most of the people who live in The Bennett are ‘very fine people.’