Stephon Shannon sentenced to 28 years in Nizzel George murder

Categories: Homicide Files
georgenizzel560.jpg
Nizzel George was fatally shot last summer while sleeping at his grandmother's house.
A judge sentenced a north Minneapolis teenager to 28 years in prison today for the murder of Nizzel George, a 5-year-old shot while sleeping on his grandmother's couch last summer.

Stephon Shannon, 17, was indicted last August on multiple counts related to the slaying, including first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder.

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His trial was slated to begin Feb. 14, but Shannon pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in association with a gang last week.

Shannon admitted that police had obtained photos identifying him as a gang member and intercepted incriminating mail sent from prison, according to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. Confessing to the murder being associated with a gang automatically added at least two years to the sentence.

Prosecutors say Shannon meant to hit somebody when he shot up the home, but did not intentionally shoot George.

George's murder occurred during a summer pocked with headline-grabbing incidents of youth violence, and it still resonates throughout the city. President Barack Obama spoke about the case during his visit to the North Side Monday, held just blocks from the site of the tragedy.

In addition to Shannon, witnesses also identified a second suspect, known as "Funny Mo," according to the charges.

For more on youth violence in Minneapolis, read our cover story on the subject from last August here.

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13 comments
swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

My 20 year-old niece is a distance runner at the University of Oregon, and as good a kid as you'll find.  Around Thanksgiving, she and a teammate were driving home for break when somebody tossed a rock the size of a grapefruit off an overpass.  It smashed her windshield and her jaw, and her car rolled.  Several surgeries later, she's on the mend.  She's having to take a redshirt season in running, and can only manage one class; in sign language.  They caught the kid who did it on Thursday and charged him with a bunch of counts.  He'll do some time, probably.

I bring this up because that loser kid in Oregon is just as fucked as this kid Stephon Shannon, and they were both fucked long before they did the heedless, thoughtless, destructive things they did.  I don't think either one had the capacity to realize what the effects of their actions would be; not in any real way.  I think their experiences with the judicial system will be the first time either one of them has ever been told by anyone that they are autonomous individuals with great power for good or evil as they choose; that they can have huge effects on other people, and that what they do matters.

If young men aren't taught rigorously to understand this, they're nothing more than potentially murderous sperm dispensers.  And I bet there are 20 million of these cementheads with incomplete cerebral cortexes (cortices?) in America right now.  What the hell are we going to do with them?  I think we should have mandatory public service for males 16-20, unless they can opt out by demonstrating productive schooling or something else.  Make them fix roads, bridges, clean up after storms and floods, take food to shut-ins, build playgrounds, pick up trash; anything that tires them out enough that they sleep 8 hours a night.

Yeah, this kid Stephon Shannon deserves 28 years in prison, and a lot more, for what he did.  But what a total waste.  Now we have to pay to keep him in a cage, where he's more likely to come out a hardened, twisted criminal than to learn anything useful.  He's likely to be a complete minus to society for life.  Same goes for the kid in Oregon who maimed my niece.  I'd like it better if we had a system that took these kids out of their rut and forced them to acknowledge their own humanity, and other peoples', and gave them a purpose.  Then if they screw up and hurt people, a system that made them acknowledge the huge Minus on their ledger, and made them come up with ways to try to balance that out before they leave this earth.

Sure, that's utopian Unicorns and Glitter stuff.  But this kid should have to understand how his thoughtless bullshit has harmed humanity, and how much he owes to all of us; not just poor Nizzel and his family.  And the dumbass kid should spend every day the rest of his life trying to make up for it.  I'm not optimistic.


niboosmik
niboosmik

I don't understand prison as a punishment. With the addition of some baron guards (so I've been told) sounds like a hotel stay, a stable word that the inmates were looking for in the first place... "Thank god this kid is off the streets." I'm really sad he won't get to continue helping to make Minneapolis a great city. This isn't justice, just a delay for the sick hearts at hand. 

_Joe_
_Joe_

He deserves all of it and more.  The sad thing is that he'll probably be out in less than 10 years.  Meanwhile, "dangerous" stoners are doing life.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@swmnguy Or we could have capitol punishment, gas the little waste of DNA and be done with it.. But "unicorn and glitter stuff" would make it a lifetime of appeals so we'd be in the same boat regardless.. 

Unfortunately most of these kids are a complete loss by the time they are 8-10yrs old. (There are exceptions) They only know "take" and "not us/me".. No sense of society, morals, common decent behavior. 

MB will cry racism - (It's actually prejudice) something gained in life. I don't prejudge skin, religion etc. But if you're seen with a group acting a certain way.. Ya.. I'm not going to like you. - Reverse example, Klan, Westboro.. Both claim to be white, christians.. I dislike their groups, but not whites or christians as a whole or individuals.


There is actually a longer discussion about this and different groups, their interactions as individuals etc.. The nuance would be lost on MB but think SWM would understand to some extent.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@CinBlueland  The kid in Oregon I was comparing to this Stephon Shannon kid is a white, lowe-middle or middle class kid; lives at home with siblings and parents; high school jock-type kid.  He's in a crappy little town in a beautiful area with few prospects.  His "MySpace" page reveals he wanted to be a pro moto-cross rider.  

The group I'm talking about is bored, alienated, destructive young males.  Race and class are merely add-ons to the underlying malfunction.  I grew up in the country and knew quite a number of them; they were all white and lower to lower-middle class.  I had an opportunity to attend a very privileged prep school for a few years (I was a few years behind Rob Portman, who just got elected to the Senate from Ohio), where I met a number of them too, and they were very white and upper-middle to upper class.  You didn't hear too much of their transgressions; money changed hands and things stayed quiet.  Same malfunction, however.

Our culture doesn't make much good of the Y-chromosome.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@_Joe_ I see where you're coming from.  But these are kids.  There's a whole process in place that's cranking out kids who do stuff like this, and we need to figure it out and stop it.  Punishing them after the fact is too late.  It doesn't fix the harm that's already been done.  If I had the solution I'd mention it.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@swmnguy So EXECUTE the murdering bastard!  When the fuck did it fall upon society to make sure everyone felt good about themselves?

Life is hard man.  YOU are the only one who can cushion it.  You want something from society?  GIVE something to society.    You want to be a punk ass criminal?  We don't need you.  You will be excised from society like a tumor.  Thank you, and good night.

keny1
keny1

@CinBlueland Prior to the "Great Society" reforms of the 1960's, African American families were strong and religious. They were a role model to not only their own race, but to Americans in general. Then White Guilt Liberalism took it's course. Once Welfare and other so-called "Social" programs were implemented, the traditional black family dissolved, resulting in single motherhood and welfare dependence. I have been called a "racist"from that idiot MB, but in reality, I am not a racist.  I do not blame black people for their plight. I blame White Guilt Liberals for the plight of the black people because they are the ones who caused it in the first place.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@swmnguy @CinBlueland We're not allowed to talk about the "Useless male". I was speaking in generalities about the thug that killed Nizzel.

You want to speak about the role of males.. We're expanding a bit. The black population had intact households as a rule until the 60s, the more we provide props, the more the "male as a bread winner" is diminished.. 

What's the point, I'll get an apt, buy a big screen, 360, watch porn, maybe get a hookup Fri night, or a "FWB".  We as a society have taken away any sense of responsibility from generations of males, every year, every generation the pressure to be a "stand up guy" grows less and less.   We've been discussing "failure to launch" types for over 20 years. It's not addressed, if you do you're a neanderthal who wants women barefoot and pregnant. 

Those who do somehow quasi escape being complete losers end up marrying "mother/wives" I know more than my share of 30+ married father of + with decent jobs..  Find them after hours and weekends.. They're barely controlled 16yr olds, drunk, at football/baseball, etc.. They don't control or guide anything. They work bring home a paycheck to their wife/mommy and run off to play.


CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann @keny1 Psst.. MB.. Add a little Irish to your Latte, mellow out a bit. I wouldn't enjoy tweaking you so much if you weren't so colorful in your replies.


keny1
keny1

And Liberal scum like you is the reason so many DFL-run cities are crime-infested shit holes.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@keny1 How can anyone tell with racist scum like you keny?   You've made fun of Nizzel before so your pretend offense is as phony as Cin.  Scum like you is why the Republican Party is such a joke these days. 

keny1
keny1

@_Joe_ 

I was referring to the killer, you moron.

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