Source: Ashe Schow
On Friday, August 14, 3-year-old Trinity Randolph and her father, 21-year-old Brandon Waddles, became the latest victims of Louisville, Kentucky’s violent crime wave.
Over the weekend, Rapper Master P (real name Percy Miller) said he would pay for Randolph’s funeral. Miller has provided philanthropic efforts in Louisville for the past 14 years, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
“This a 3-year-old innocent girl that’s gone from her family, from her future, somebody who could have come out of the community and be the next president, doctor, lawyer, teacher,” Miller told the outlet on Sunday. “This is sad.”
Randolph, at just three years old, was described by one of her aunts as a “technology genius” who already knew how to make videos on TikTok and YouTube. She could also FaceTime other family members.
“She was just 3 years old,” said Valerie Randolph, Trinity’s great-grandmother. “It takes a mean, cold, selfish-hearted person to take a little 3-year-old’s life.”
Trinity’s grandfather, Tyronn Howlett, told media outlets on Friday that the little girl was outside playing in her “Frozen” dollhouse when she and her father were shot. Louisville Police haven’t released any additional details or said whether they have any leads or suspects yet.
Trinity and her father were the 96th and 97th homicides in Louisville this year. At this rate, the city will more than double the number of homicides it faced in 2019, which saw 56 homicides total. While the crime rate is rising, the media is quick to discount the role violent protests have played in recent months following the police-involved death of Minneapolis man George Floyd. Floyd died after officer Derek Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Since then, protests and riots have erupted across the country in major cities including Louisville, Minneapolis, New York City, Portland, and Seattle. Violent crime has risen in cities where allegedly peaceful protests have taken place, such as Chicago and New York City. Louisville, too, has seen an increase in violent crime.
In early July, WAVE reported the city had seen a 40% increase in murders and a 107% increase in non-fatal shootings over the same period in 2019. The increase started back in March, when much of the country shut down over fears of the coronavirus pandemic. Another notable increase occurred after the George Floyd protests began. A full 40% of 2020’s shootings in Louisville occurred after the riots started through the beginning of July.
“The same notable increase can be seen since civil unrest began on May 28. Since that date, 40% of the year’s shootings have occurred, meaning out of the 257 shooting victims, 102 of them were shot within the last six weeks,” WAVE reported on July 7. “Out of the 67 homicide victims, 21 of them, or 30%, were also killed in those 40 days.”
While many across the country have wanted to defund police departments even as violence spikes, Louisville’s latest budget commits resources to law enforcement.