Martha MacCallum Exclusive: Outrage Over Brendan Tevlin's Murder 'Lost in a Sorry Double Standard'
Programming Note: Don't miss Greta Van Susteren's exclusive interview with Brendan Tevlin's parents, Wednesday at 7p/2a ET on "On the Record."
“He could’ve been my son.” That’s what the President said about Trayvon Martin. And it was true. He could’ve passed for the President’s son. No doubt Trayvon’s parents miss him every day. The President also expressed outrage about the death of Michael Brown. Rightly so, no parents should have to bury their sons. It is tragic.
When I look at this picture of Brendan Tevlin, I think, he could have been my son.
A nineteen year old, suburban boy. Strawberry blond, athletic, bright and smiley. On June 25th he texted his Mom, Allison, that he was on his way home from a friend’s house.
But he never made it there. Minutes later, Ali Muhammad Brown walked up to Brendan’s family car, stopped at a red light and fired ten rounds into the car, and killed him.
Brown then allegedly drove the car, with Brendan in it, to a parking lot and left him there.
We live not far from the Tevlin’s and word of the tragedy spread quickly locally. Carjacking? Robbery? What could have happened?
Then at a press conference the police said the killing was “targeted.” That was a loaded word.
Everyone including me thought this: Oh, I see. Brendan was the one picked that night to go buy the pot from some guy in a parking lot and something went very wrong.
Logical maybe, but completely off base. There were no drugs. Just a boy targeted by a killer, who was bent on jihad, because he was a white man and alone.
The killer, according to the court documents, says that it was ‘a just kill.” An act of vengeance and retaliation for U.S military action in the Middle East. “All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life” said the devout Muslim. So that’s what the police meant when they said he was “targeted.” It would have been helpful if they’d clarified that a bit. Instead of adding insult to the profound injury already inflicted on Brendan’s family and friends. It led me and others to conclude that in some way Brendan had put himself in danger and that although it was tragic, it won’t happen to your child if they don’t do the same.
But that odd comfort and conclusion were sadly mistaken.
Brendan could be my son, or yours. Simply committing the crime of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being targeted by a person terrorizing a community and exacting revenge.
Brendan’s killing belongs in the category of the Fort Hood shootings by Maj. Nidal Hassan or the drive by shooting of a storefront military recruiter in Little Rock in 2009. Random acts of terrorism, on our soil.
But that’s not what Brendan’s family wants you to know. They want you to remember their son. The handsome young man who played the bag pipes and loved music. The talented student and gregarious guy, who won over friends and professors in his first year at the University of Richmond. The Seton Hall Prep graduate and lacrosse player who went on to play on his club college team.
All the promise that was cut short. He had his whole life ahead of him until this low life murderer decided to rob him and his family of all that.
I’m sorry if I sound too angry or impartial. But every time I look at this young man, I think, he could have been my son. My heart breaks for his Mom and Dad and his sister and brothers.
The country stopped this summer as we watched Michael Brown’s body on the ground. The pundits and preachers flocked to Ferguson outraged at what the police had done. Protestors filled the streets and riots broke out. It was a terrible story.
So where is our collective outrage and remembrance of Brendan Tevlin? Lost in a sorry double standard.