The 9-year-old who had feared being killed lay dead on the street.“I talk about you all the time when I’m giving speeches, you know that?
,” Landrieu said.“I appreciate that,” Norfleet said quietly.
They made small talk about the old neighborhood, and then Landrieu asked, “Can you recount what happened that day?
Two other people, including Darby’s uncle, were wounded when they were struck by fragments of the boy’s skull.
Janice Payne laid herself atop her son and told him that she loved him.
I was already feeling bad because the days weren’t going well. There were two adults there that should have broken up the fight, but they got involved in it.
One of the guys that was supposed to be an adult, he hit my sister.”“You got mad? I just couldn’t seem to let that go.”“Someone was in the house with you? ”Yes, he confirmed, and he added that he sells them at the arts-and-crafts festival that Burl Cain runs outside the prison rodeo each fall. The young prisoner got to keep a large portion of the proceeds.
,” Landrieu asked.“James is the guy that drove the car,” Norfleet answered, referring to James Walker, the son of his mother’s boyfriend, who was in the house.“I had a temper on me, and [Walker’s] exact words were ‘Get the gun.’ I grabbed it and we jumped in the car. I didn’t know the people I was supposed to shoot.”“And then what? I was pointing it at the guy, that’s the only person I really saw. But I came here a man, I’ll die a man, that’s for sure. ”The mayor told Norfleet he hoped to talk with him again. After Landrieu left, Norfleet took a photograph from his pocket and showed it to me. This is one of my tables.”A few weeks later, I went back to Angola, where I met a young New Orleanian man serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. He left for a moment, and came back with a large shopping bag filled with pink and magenta hair bows. An obvious thought soon occurred to me: What if our society ensured that a creative and entrepreneurial young man could discover his talents, and be shepherded toward success, before he killed someone, rather than after?