Tammorra Barnes-Hammon, 34, of Portland is angry, sad, and frustrated over the fatal shooting of her son, Davonte, reports The Oregonian. She wants the community to wake up and recognize that it’s not OK to bury a 14-year-old boy, one left dying on a sidewalk, shot in the back of his head in the middle of the afternoon.
Barnes-Hammon, who works full time for Multnomah County counseling people with developmental disabilities, recognized that her son had behavioral problems. She tried to talk to him but said he was an impressionable teenager, eager for a sense of belonging and finding it with friends who were not a positive influence. Kate Desmond, who oversees the juvenile gang unit for Multnomah County’s Department of Community Justice, said her unit worked Davonte’s case hard. The county tried to get him engaged in school, provided months of family counseling and offered Davonte tutoring, but he wouldn’t show up. “He definitely talked about the gang activity, and the pull that he felt, and that it was, in his words, ‘extremely crazy’, ” Desmond said. Davonte’s mom was on a first-name basis with his probation officer, often calling him and pushing, “We’ve got to do something. We’ve got to talk. Should we be doing more?”