D.C. Journalist was Murdered Covering Community She Loved; Never Forget Charnice Milton

D.C. Journalist was Murdered Covering Community She Loved; Never Forget Charnice Milton

Wrong place. Wrong time.


When Charnice Milton’s parents last Wednesday begged the night for an answer, for a buoy of logic in a suddenly fast-rising sea of disbelief, those were the only four words the cruel D.C. darkness tossed back.


Wrong place. Wrong time.


Their daughter, a 27-year-old journalist on her way home that evening after covering a civic meeting, was gunned down at a bus stop when the intended target of a drive-by shooter—a walking, living, breathing definition of the term coward—grabbed Milton as she was transferring buses and used her as a human shield.

The shooter and the intended victim escaped without injury and are still at large.

By all accounts, Milton died doing what she loved—telling the stories of the people and places that comprised her community, and the issues affecting them.

“I think it’s a real loss, not only for us and her family but also the communities that she covered,” said Andrew Lightman, managing editor of Capital Community News, where Milton plied her trade. “She was one of a handful of reporters across the District who was looking at the nuts and bolts of everyday life.”

But that insight into the everyday lives of areas you wouldn’t necessarily find in a Rockwell painting does not often come complete with the gratitude of an appreciative audience. It can be a thankless, at times even reviled, job.

And absolutely necessary—vital even.

And it is easy to see that, in the outpouring of affection and support in the wake of her senseless death, Milton understood that. She understood the importance of her work, her role in her community—or else she would not have been transferring buses at 9:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night in Washington, D.C., fresh out of one of the myriad meetings and events she was paid pennies to chronicle.

Because every one of them mattered to someone.

As did Charnice Milton. She mattered to her parents, family, friends. She mattered to the community she died covering.

Never forget Charnice Milton. I won’t.

She mattered so much more than the four words that have come to define her demise. And for those of us left to carry that ink-stained torch, there is no better example than hers to light the way.


Right place. Right time.








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