Back in the summer of 2003, freshman NYC council member James Davis was shot to death in the NYC council chambers at City Hall; mere moments before a stated meeting of the council was called to order. The most poignant memory of that terrible event was probably that of a distraught Geoffrey Davis (James’s younger brother) continuously sobbing:”they assassinated my brother; they assassinated my brother”. Television-news coverage showed the palpable grief. The pain was real. James and his younger brother Geoffrey were real close. James was Geoffrey’s first hero. Geoffrey nicknamed him: “Rocky”.
James Davis was the charismatic ex-cop, ex-jock, ex-preacher, ex-charmer, from Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He was the founder of the James E. Davis Stop the Violence Foundation. Every August for almost two decades now, the foundation has held an annual march to inspire and motivate kids to “love themselves and stop the violence”. I know very well. I have marched with them quite a few times over the years.
In politics, I worked with James for seven years. He was a man of many talents. He was gifted with good looks, charm and smarts. He could scheme and be slick if needed. He was shrewd and thoughtful when required. He was a “piece of work”: as they say in the hood. He was a very likeable chap. He was passionate about stopping all the violence plaguing communities of color throughout Brooklyn (and the city at large). He was very concerned about the directions in which the contemporary youth moved.
During that period (the assassination and its immediate aftermath), Geoffrey Davis couldn’t contain his grief, anger, pain, hurt, shock, dismay, and whatever other feelings that event brought. It was a very revealing moment. It was the moment Geoffrey’s life changed forever.
At the time of his assassination, James was seeking re-election to the council seat (35th Council District). This seat encompasses parts of Crown Heights, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. When the question of a replacement came up, I remember suggesting that James’s mother (Thelma) should run; to me her victory was assured based on an anticipated outpouring of sympathy from voters. However, she had other ideas: she wanted her baby (Geoffrey) to fill his bigger brother’s shoes.
Without fear, Geoffrey waded into the political waters having no clue as to what was about to hit him: a political tsunami. Sure, he had hung around most of James’s political campaigns from 1996 thru 2001(that’s where I first met Geoffrey); but this was different. James was clean enough; but Geoffrey was a bit of “bad-boy” before growing up to become the man he is today.
Geoffrey Davis is one of the most likeable young rascals you will ever meet. He is as charming as his brother was (probably even more so). He is a skilful speaker. He can articulate some issues. He is witty and jovial. He is fun loving and easygoing. The problem was he had done a few silly and stupid things in his youth: nothing major just minor stuff.
He had chased some pussies he shouldn’t have chased. He had smoked some reefer (marijuana) he shouldn’t have smoked publicly; and as a young man, he was busted for possession, and also for receiving some stolen property too (if I recall correctly). It was really silly stuff; stupid stuff.
Once he even had a fight with some girlfriend, and she made a report of domestic violence. The cops busted him without getting to the bottom of it. Charles Barron had to bail him out of jail that night. I remember this because Charles told me Geoffrey needed to grow up a bit. And Chucky Bee was totally correct about that.
Look, I am not here to say GD was a saint; no he wasn’t. But he was no criminal. He was a big kid who hadn’t grown up fully as yet. Many kids go through juvenile delinquency phases; most don’t get caught; that’s all.
Anyway; during the election, the mainstream media whipped Geoffrey like he was cream. You would think he was Kool (whip). They dug up near everything they could on him. It wasn’t nice. They dug up inane things like some fights he had in junior high school; some car tires he probably let air out of; some candy he probably pilfered in the school cafeteria; stupid shit like that -if you catch my drift. They did a political hit on poor Geoffrey. It wasn’t nice. It was a hatchet job.
When the fix is in, mainstream media in NYC can become nothing short of prostitutes. Right now they are doing it for Christine Quinn. They are trying to make her the next mayor of NYC. Thus they continually attack anyone who they deem as a formidable potential opponent to Quinn. One week they attack John Liu; another week it’s Bill DiBlasio; and another it is Marty Markowitz. I always tell you folks to STAY TUNED-IN: it’s happening right before your very eyes. The fix is in for Christine Quinn to become the next mayor of New York City. Mainstream media has been recruited in the effort. The unions are next. Then the money folks will follow. It’s all about maintaining Bloomberg’s legacy. It’s about kissing the mayor’s ass (as usual).
Back then, mainstream media dug up Geoffrey’s supposed “baby-mama” issues. He was reported to have had missed some child-support payments. One woman suddenly came out of the woodwork to say Geoffrey had fathered her child. He didn’t even know about it. The media jumped on that like it was the last train to San Fernando.
What they failed to report was that when the court-mandated DNA test required she show up with the baby, this woman never came to court. Now she lives thousands of miles away in another state. But the damage was done. The character of Geoffrey Davis was cleverly and deftly assassinated.
Mainstream media also failed to highlight that despite his checkered past Geoffrey had gone beyond a Bachelor’s to obtain a Master’s Degree. And that he was working in the education field. And that he was working with troubled youth and doing good things to atone for some of his youthful indiscretions and the like.
You see, in that race, the fix was in. Lettitia “Tish” James -a county lawyer- was the ordained replacement to James Davis. Even former mayor David Dinkins came in to endorse Tish: along with umpteen elected democrats. Despite the fact that Geoffrey had the Dems party-line, the establishment democrats deserted him like he had lice in his hair (he had more hair then/lol/by the way).
The Working Families Party gave Tish their line, and they worked assiduously to obtain her victory. When Tish won the race, the WFP acted like it had won the lotto. This is the same WFP who plays the political system (and electoral process) like a fiddle; the same party which talks a good game on reform but is nothing but an appendage for the democrats. The same political party that affirms and maintains the status-quo but pretends to do otherwise.
Geoffrey told a New York Times reporter that he had used the campaign as therapy, in order to deal with his brother’s untimely death. I could understand that. He lost that race but he held his head. After the bruising election he lost his job as a counselor at Medgar-Evers College. The hits just never stopped.
He went through a lil period of depression; he went through his anger phase; he went through a lot of other stuff; then he rededicated his life to fulfilling his brother’s dream: STOP THE VIOLENCE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
Today Geoffrey runs the James E. Davis Stop the Violence Foundation. He has grown up now. Sure, he still loves to kid around, tell jokes, talk crap sometimes, have fun and laugh; but he is much more serious about life now: much more than he has ever been.
He travels the country railing against gun-violence and crime in general. He lectures on self-esteem- building to disadvantaged youth. He fights for women’s rights and civil rights for all. He marches and preaches. He agitates and motivates. He has earned his stripes; even Reverend Al Sharpton said that publicly last summer.
Don’t be surprised if while you are watching CNN or some other network news station, the image of Geoffrey Davis appears from some event in San Francisco, or Colorado, or Ohsotamma (unknown city). I have experienced this. It has happened to me. Geoffrey is now a spokesperson for this issue (“Stop the Violence”). He plies both coasts.
Who knows if one day he goes international.
Today, when Geoffrey talks about his deceased brother James, the tears still well-up in his eyes. Day by day he tries to fill some very big shoes. He is doing well. Let’s keep praying for this brother all you praying folks out there. He is still a work in progress. Some of you need to make some contributions to the foundation.
Geoffrey has some big plans for continuing his brother’s mission.
Stay tuned-in folks.