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Death of girl, 8, provokes outrcy in St. Petersburg




Vigil for Paris Whitehead-Hamilton

An 8-year-old girl is dead, gunned down when her home was raked by semiautomatic rifles early Sunday morning.
See photos of Paris' friends and family from the vigil.
See mug shot of Stephen C. Harper, who was charged with first-degree murder in the killing.
Watch video of a suspect's arrest.
Sign a guestbook for Paris

Read about the neighborhood Crime Watch meeting Tuesday night.


Readers react: The coverage of the killing has fueled heated discussion on, with more than 235 comments posted on the stories about the girl's death. Readers are lamenting crime in the community, and blaming all involved: parents, police, the African American community -- and the suspect,  Stephen Cortez Harper, himself.

'Born in St. Pete wrote: "We need to cleanup our neighborhoods of all the drugs, gangs and violence. Why do we expect others to do our job? Stop blaming the police for us not doing our job. Parents take control of your children."

Jim says: "St. Pete PD has cut all overtime for officers in these areas which mean less patrol time on the streets. "

Mark says: "They (blacks) wear "from the hood" like a badge of honor. Then this happens and all of a sudden it's the city's fault for not making things safe. Police your own neighborhoods. Don't allow drug dealers to run your streets. Cooperate with the police.

KBD writes: "While this child's father is fighting to defend our homeland, we neglected to defend his child on the same land he is defending. Shame on us! Get these guns off the streets today!"

Joe says: "Enough is enough! The police Chief in this city is oblivious to the real situations in this city and should be removed NOW."

A former St. Pete resident says: "'s so sad that these young boys don't have a heart that they take it out on the whole family, not caring who gets hurt or killed."

Share your thoughts.

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:51pm]


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