The Life and Murder of Aaron Sullivan- KBCS Interview
This week on KBCS’s One World Report, you’ll hear my gripping and intimately personal interview with Dr. Debra Sullivan, mother of the late Aaron Sullivan.
Aaron was murdered while sitting in his car, July 22nd 2009 in Seattle’s Leschi/Mt. Baker area.
I first interviewed Dr. Sullivan months after the shooting. I was struck at how open she was with the details of losing her son in such a horrific way. In the process of writing that story, I interviewed Aaron’s sister and the 2 people sitting in the car with him when he was shot- his girlfriend, who was next to him, and his best friend who sat directly behind him.
It was that experience that solidified for me, the power of audio. It was the first time I posted actual recordings of interviews instead of transcripts. I wanted you to hear what I heard, and I knew it couldn’t be conveyed any other way.
With that in mind, it was somewhat of a full circle moment sitting with Debra in the KBCS studios, preparing to bring this story to your ears. Debra offers us all a very special gift- she gives us insight into what it is like to lose a child to gun violence, and not just the mourning, but the logistics as well. What is it like to be notified your child is dead? What is it like to see misinformation about your loved one in the newspaper, and read the hateful comments online? What is it like to intersect with detectives, the prosecutor’s office, the victim’s family, your own family, and so on. Debra takes us through that experience and her story is one we can all learn from. It encapsulates “you think you know, but you have no idea.”
Each of my KBCS interviews have been with or focused on Black men. It wasn’t my intention, but as I look for the important stories to tell, those are the ones that present themselves to me. It is an honor to bring them to you. Black men are often misunderstood or misrepresented in the media- we all know the stereotypes. But that isn’t who they really are. Black men- their opinions, lives an experiences- are diverse and unique. These segments- I hope- help us better understand our brothas, ourselves, and yes, even the world around us. The topics vary, but with each interview you’re guaranteed one thing; we go deep.
If you’ve missed any of these interviews, here they are for your convenience:
Interview with Garlin Gilchrist II about the right to a free and open Internet
Interviewer: Sable Verity
Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes in his own words
An internal investigation later showed that an officer also rammed the handcuffed Alley-Barnes’ face into a wall at the police precinct. Now five years later, Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes has created an exhibit titled “To Serve and Protect.” It’s a multimedia, collaborative effort to tap into the healing power of art; to exorcise the demons, and tell the stories of those left behind in the aftermath of police brutality. Reporter and commentator Sable Verity talked with Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes about what happened to him that fateful night and the healing power of art.
Reporter: Sable Verity
Interview with Rhonda Massey, wife of the youngest person in the state convicted as an adult for first degree murder
Since then Massey has received his GED, started a youth intervention program, taught fitness classes for his peers and continues to educate himself any way he can. A growing team of supporters are pushing for Massey’s clemency from Governor Chris Gregoire. One of those supporters is Massey’s wife Rhonda who he married in 2009. We bring you an interview with Rhonda Massey recorded earlier at the KBCS Jonathan Henderson Studio.
We also have the hour-long, unedited version of that interview where you can hear Barrey Massey’s tape recorded interrogation when he was 13 years old and learn more about the campaign for his clemency.
Reporter: Sable Verity
The uncut versions of all interviews are available here.