Friday, May 24, 2013

Julian Dawkins' memorial / Lynhaven neighborhood, Alexandria

This street memorial to Julian Dawkins is at the Corner of Lynhaven Drive and Evans Lane in Alexandria, Virginia. There were many members of his family, friends and neighbors gathered around the site, and it is still being added to. I spoke to his aunt, who had been on the phone with Mr. Dawkins when he was shot. From all accounts he was a decent hard-working young man, employed by the PBS News Hour as a shuttle driver.

He was shot on May 21, 2013, in the 100 block of Lynhaven Drive, Alexandria, Virginia.

Note: In the ten years I have been documenting DC metro area street memorials, this is the first one I have encountered and photographed in Alexandria.

May he rest in peace, his family's grief healed, and justice be served.

From an Alexandria Police report:  Based upon the results of the autopsy examination conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the death of Julian Dawkins, 22, has been ruled a homicide caused by a gunshot wound. Mr. Dawkins was shot following a confrontation with off duty Arlington County deputy sheriff Craig Patterson, 44, during the early morning hours of May 21, 2013.

During the course of the investigation, detectives have consulted with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office regarding whether or not criminal charges should be filed. This case is being investigated according to standard protocol applied to all Alexandria homicide cases.

Friends on Thursday gathered at the spot where Julian Dawkins was shot. Meanwhile his family waited a short distance away for word of charges. The victim's family wondered why, a full day after the shooting, Patterson did not face charges.
On the night of the shooting, the Dawkins family gathered at the house to plan a party for cousin Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, who had just signed to play with the Mystics of the WNBA.
His uncle says sometime after 9 pm, Dawkins left and just down the street got into an argument with Patterson, who lives nearby. He is adamant that several hours passed between the first altercation and the shooting. The Dawkins say that since Patterson is a law enforcement officer whom they believe must have undergone training in conflict resolution, the shooting is all the more troubling.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney says a decision on whether Patterson is charged or not will be made within 24 to 48 hours.

Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille issued the following statement Thursday evening:

The death of Julian Dawkins, who was shot and killed on May 21, has raised concerns throughout our community. I am confident that appropriate justice will prevail once all facts are known. Our Police Department is investigating this case and they are working with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney using the standard procedure used for such cases in Alexandria. In the meantime, I urge the community to be patient, and allow the justice system to do its work.