Subscriber Services Weather

Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

R.I.P. Chermaine Joseph-Quetel

Joseph-Quetel was a security guard for the Metrorail train in Miami-Dade County, a train I ride to work a couple days per week.

She was shot and killed by a man while working a few nights ago - ironically, while guarding the platform at the station named for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her husband, also a guard on the rail system was working nearby. He managed to be by her side as she died.

Police haven't found a suspect yet. A man wearing dark clothing was seen running away from the scene. He took nothing, not her valuables, not her gun. And that's it.

I hope that they catch him. I hope, for once - though it's not likely - if he's caught he admits that he was a coward (police said that Joseph-Quetel didn't even have a chance to unholster her own weapon when she was shot) and that he committed the ultimate crime. I hope he voluntarily locks himself away for life or straps himself into the juice box.

I hope this does not turn out to be another case of "I shot her 'cause she looked at me funny." I once covered a homicide at my last newspaper in which a young girl was shot and killed by a stray bullet meant for a 20-something man. When police later caught the shooter, he told them that he fired at the other man, because that man had stepped on his girlfriend's shoes in a nightclub a night or two before and hadn't adequately apologized.

I hope that if he does defend his actions by saying he was beaten as a child, forced to eat gravel and sand for dinner, and generally neglected and abused, every law-abiding, successful person out there who was raised in the same environment comes forward and decries the killer's excuses.

I hope that he gets what he gave - a lack of respect for his life.

I hope that if he gets life and not death he's forced to live with a life-sized picture of the woman he killed on a wall of his prison cell.

I hope that the other (presumably young) men in his clique feel shame, old-fashioned shame and embarrassment.

I hope that those men recognize the horror of their buddy's actions, and make extra efforts to educate themselves and find jobs - anything that qualifies as a productive use of their time.

I hope that people in the neighborhood in which the shooting took place band together and form posses and hunt down the killer and drag him by his testicles to the nearest police station.

I hope that no one in that neighborhood helps the killer or shields him from police.

I hope that when this story fades from the newspaper(s) and TV stations down here in a couple of days - unless the killer is caught before then - Joseph-Quetel did not die in vain.


  • I saw that story--what a damn shame. Who knows what happened, but whatever it was, there should be a video. I mean, isn't this part of the transportation infrastructure supposed to be protected by Fatherland security?

    There wasn't much in the paper about Mrs. Joseph-Quintel's life, but at least her husband was there when she passed. It would have been more awful if she died by herself on the platform. Of course, the skeptical cynic in me can't help but think how this wouldn't have happened at a train station in a better neighborhood (more lights, video cameras, and security personnel), but this is Miami-all the train stations look run down in the same way-it could have happened anywhere.

    Somebody out there knows whodunit adn they need to come correct.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 5:13 PM  

  • They may find something a little more memorable than putting him with a life-sized poster of the victim.

    Check out what a cellmate did to THIS guy:,2933,226289,00.html

    and here's the photo:

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 6:55 AM  

  • may God hold her in the hollow of His Almighty hand. May those responsible for wasting her life be brough to justice soon.

    By Anonymous og, at 7:24 AM  

  • Such a sad story, and even sadder that they may never catch the person who took her life. I am not sure there is any punishment strong enough for someone who kills just to kill. What society will do to this person cannot be as horrible as what he has done to
    this woman's husband, whose last memories of the woman he loved are of watching her die. These memories will haunt him for the rest of his life, and he will always question himself about the why's, ifs, couldas, shoulas wouldas of that night. If I had been closer to her, could I have stopped it, why her and not me.

    My heart goes out to the family of Mrs. Joseph-Quintel. I hope that there will be someone held accountable, and that maybe now it will become apparent that cameras and other safety features will become a part of the transportation system. Nobody should die just because they went to work

    By Anonymous llh, at 9:38 AM  

  • What a horrid way to die. I hope that her killer is brought to some very harsh justice and the family of Mrs. Joseph-Quetel receives some much needed comfort in the following days.

    By Blogger QofD, at 11:23 AM  

  • Thank you very much for writing this blog. I never even knew this was written, which means my family probably didnt even know. It is now 3 years to the date that our beautiful beloved was taken from us. The known suspect is behind bars, but we are still awaiting trial and full justice to be served. I pray and hope justice prevails for our family and so that this doesnt happen to anyone else.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:43 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home