Whenever someone says the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” one of the favorite responses by contrarians is “What about Black-On-Black crime?” Well, in a rare instance, an American city–New York–has acted on an instance of Black-on-Black crime and showed that at least one needlessly taken Black life matters. In South Jamaica, Queens, a street will be named after slain teen D’Aja Naquai Robinson.
D’Aja, 14, was killed by a stray bullet on May 18, 2013, as she rode home from a Sweet 16 party on the Q6 bus with friends. The teen’s name will live on on a section of Sutphin Boulevard between Rockaway Boulevard and 125th Avenue. The corner will tentatively be known as “D’Aja Naquai Robinson Way.” Mayor Bill de Blasio officially signed the bill to make the co-naming real on Wednesday.
D’Aja’s killer, Kevin McClinton, 24, was convicted of murder and criminal possession of a weapon. According to DNAInfo, the city has already used her tragic death to spur change:
The crime prompted the city the following year to launch the Gun Violence Crisis Management System, an initiative to reduce gun violence in areas with high rates of crime by using community interventions, anti-violence messaging and support services.
“D’Aja Naquai Robinson was robbed of the opportunity to make her own contribution to this world, but the outrage her death sparked helped to harden the City’s resolve to further reduce shootings,” said sponsor of the street co-naming bill Councilman Ruben Wills. “We have a responsibility to remind the public about the indiscriminate nature of gun-violence, and the destruction it causes.”
According to Wills’ office, the official date for the co-naming has not been set. His office will work with the Robinson family to arrange one.