For the first time in a long time a good news outcome occurred in the long road to justice for Matthew McCree. Many of us remember in the last 2 years the harrowing story of a young 15 year old Matthew McCree who was fatally stabbed inside a classroom in a public high school in the Bronx.
Since then the school has been shut down. Matthew’s killer Abel Cedeno also stabbed another student Ariane Laboy almost killing him as well as leaving him in a coma for 2 days following the deadly stabbing of his fellow classmate Matthew McCree. Both kids were younger than the then 18 year old Abel Cedeno.
Initially I thought this would be a jury trial but as it turns out, from the outset Cedeno and his scumbag lawyers had waived their right to a jury trial and opted for a judge to rule over the case in the vein hopes that the judge would buy their ridiculous argument of a justified killing in self defense of Cedeno. What I felt and suspected was the truth of the case the judge also saw plain as day. Abel Cedeno while we won’t dispute may or may not have been bullied, was certainly not the daily bullying victim of a 3 years his junior Matthew McCree nor Ariane Laboy.
Abel Cedeno struggled as most LGBT youth do with coming to terms with their sexual identity and being open with that in a high school setting. Did he suffer bullying? I believe absolutely he must have to a certain degree. How much we can never really know other than to hear him tell it or listen to the accounts of fellow classmates and students who knew of all 3 students at Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx. As a former Bronx resident this case hit home.
Growing up in the Boogie down is no walk in the park and I’m sure almost everyone has been subject to bullying at some point in school. How we respond to those events and how the faculty and parents do as well is critical in having those issues resolved without heinous outcomes such as what occurred in this case. That being said the difference here is that the climate of America has lent to this narrative that any “black” or “Afro -American” person (man, woman, or child) is fair game to target for killing and injustice because the legacy of America has allowed it.
The defense attorneys for Abel Cedeno as well as he and his family counted on it in this case. They lied, defamed, slandered, and victim blamed the deceased 15 year old claiming he was a gang member knowing full well he was not while his mother Louna Denis was left to endure the heartache and turmoil and hope against hope and pray that justice would be had for her son Matthew. What happened wasn’t just a tragedy it was preventable. In my opinion the school let all of the students down but like so many inner city schools the kids are an after thought. It’s only when something violent occurs that they decide to change policies and act.
When I was a kid going to school growing up in the Bronx my high school had 3 phases of metal detection before you even got to first period. By my junior year of high school we already had the metal detection plus ID cards for every student that had to be scanned at the time of entry into the building. The scans noted date and time of entry. Why this wasn’t implemented in the Urban Assembly School for Conservation of Wildlife is beyond me considering my high school days were back in the 90’s. It is crystal clear that because of the gross negligence of the school and it’s staff it warranted being shut down following Matthew’s murder.
The judge in this case saw through all of the deceit of the defense and used clear judgement to reach a verdict of guilty on all counts in the case. Abel Cedeno faces a maximum of 25 years in prison for the killing of Matthew McCree. My hope is that he receives the maximum (which is still too light a sentence) given the fact he will see daylight and have the opportunity to be out in society again while Matthew McCree’s life is permanently ended at just 15 years of age.
Just let that sink in. A grown man by legal definition at 18 years of age premeditated bringing a weapon to school to use against anyone he perceived would be a bully to him (due to his sexual orientation) and then seeking provocation, killed a classmate 3 years younger than him and almost killed another 2 years younger.
Why is he not charged with 2nd degree murder? Why is he not charged with premeditated murder when he clearly purchased the weapon prior to the killing and his family acknowledging that they knew he purchased the weapon prior to taking it to school and killing Matthew McCree and critically stabbing Ariane Laboy? The desperation of Cedeno’s defense even went so far as to claim that video evidence existed to bolster the claim of self defense.
That video turned out to be a blurry edited video released to the media who ran with it and put it out for pubic consumption to sway public opinion that the killing was justified. What the low lives didn’t know was that someone else had the full unedited cell phone video showing Abel Cedeno as the aggressor and attacker in the classroom not the elaborate lie they told the media and public that Abel was fighting for his life when he fatally stabbed Matthew and critically stabbed Ariane Laboy.
The outcome of this case as far as the guilty verdict goes brings some sense of closure for Matthew McCree and his mother but that won’t be fully known until sentencing of Abel Cedeno. No matter what he’s sentenced to it will never bring Matthew back. I hope that every day he’s in prison he really thinks about the events and his choices that led up to him being imprisoned and rightfully so.
I hope that Ariane Laboy fully recovers and can give us his account of what happened that day and what he plans to do with his life since he survived Abel’s attack. I hope that uniform policies are adopted to which every single high school nation wide has metal detectors in it and dedicated staff and guidance counseling to deal directly with bullying.
If nothing else this case gives a little glimmer of hope that there is justice to be had for us. I shudder to think though had Abel Cedeno been a Caucasian male from a family with money would this outcome have occurred? Fortunately that isn’t an issue to have to wrestle with in this case.
Hats off to the judge in this case and more importantly to Louna Denis who stayed the course and fought and fought and fought for justice until she got it for her son. This case should have been a national headline and a call to change things in schools across the country. Hopefully it won’t be forgotten in the foreseeable future and things will change for the better.
The one thing I can take away from this case is Accountability was made an example here not an excuse. If only the judicial system could have done the same for Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Oscar Grant, Amidou Diallo and countless others. Our lives have value, meaning, and purpose. God sees us all.