San Jose Mercury-News having a hard time understanding who the real victims were in Vegas shooting

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. – Kurt Vonnegut

You may have seen the story about the Hollywood action movie-style murder on the Las Vegas strip early yesterday morning. All the stories I’m seeing focus on the shooting victim, one Ken Cherry (aka Kenny Clutch, an aspiring rapper from Oakland). Turns out that while Clutch projected a gangster image, he was actually a pretty nice guy. Reports the San Jose Mercury-News:

A rapper with Oakland ties who was killed in a shooting and fiery crash Thursday on the Las Vegas Strip may have glorified the gangsta style in his videos, but family and associates said Ken Cherry was nothing like the image he portrayed….”In my interaction with him, I can tell you that by the way he looked and what he put out there on his videos, he fit a certain stereotype,” attorney Vicki Greco said. “But I also can tell you that away from that, he was anything but that kind of stereotype. He was honest. He was loyal. He was very dependable. Sometimes, he’d drop by my office just to say hello. He was a nice, nice kid.”

How very CB4.

You know who else wasn’t a gangsta in real life? THE TWO FUCKING INNOCENT VICTIMS IN THE TAXI CAB!!

…a Las Vegas television station late Thursday identified the taxi driver as Michael Boldon, 62, who the station said had recently moved here from Michigan to care for his 93-year-old mother.

The victim’s son, who drives a limousine, told Fox News 5 that he last talked with his father after 3 a.m., and later called his cellphone shortly after the crash to warn him to avoid the Strip. But there was no answer.


We don’t know the whole story yet, and I’m trying not to speculate too hard around the details we do have, which seem to want to tell a story we have heard before. I’m keenly aware of the fact that by simply typing the word “rapper” here I might be perceived by some as playing into a subtly racist meme. On the other hand, the details being reported are what they are, and sadly, it isn’t like rappers never engage in beefing that goes violent and by the way, has anybody ever heard of Tupac Shakur?

It’s a shame that an apparently nice young man got shot. He didn’t deserve it. But the two folks in that cab probably deserved it even less, especially if that whole gangsta thing figured into the events leading up to the shooting.

If I’m the SJM-N editors, I might be holding off a day or two more before I begin the canonization proceedings for Kenny Clutch. From what we can tell, it seems like there might be a couple of other folks whose families and memories are more immediately deserving of our sympathies.

3 replies »

  1. Thank you for thinking about the victims in the taxi. Yes, they do have families and friends mourning their loss, trying to make sense of the loss of the innocent lives of their loved ones. I am sorry the rapper died. But I am crushed by the loss of the unnamed passenger in the taxi. She was a wife, mother of 3 school aged children. Loved dearly by her family.

  2. One has to wonder if this mistaken focus in media coverage isn’t a direct result of the “celebrity” mania that drives any and all press coverage.

    Meanwhile, the tragedy of the cab driver and his passenger, obviously wonderful people who did not deserve to die so senselessly, is ignored.