Tragedy into Triumph
The Rise of Better Opportunities Inc
On August 21, 2012, Burrell "BoJack" Ramsey was shot and killed by a Boston Police officer during what was supposed to a be a routine traffic stop. Despite the numerous witnesses, the investigation is stalling. To this day we still have no answer as to what happened or why no one was held accountable for their actions.
Burrell was all about the people, and loved to express himself through rap. He was the kind of person who would give you his last dollar or the shirt off his back if it meant you would do something positive with it, with your life. Bo loved everyone and to see everyone doing well, becoming better than the stereotypes that urban youth are often dealt at an early age. Like many, Burrell has made mistakes in his life; he paid his debts and made a conscience effort to change his lifestyle for the better.
When Bo's life was cut short in an incident that could have been prevented, Better Opportunities Inc (BO) was formed to initiate necessary changes in our communities. With Bo’s two passions in mind, helping people and music, the best way to honor his life was to assist as many people as possible in reaching for better opportunities and expressing themselves. BO's mission is to advocate for change and unity while promoting peace and strength in our communities through art and education.
After 11 months, and my hearts hurts like it happened yesterday. I’m still waiting for answers as to why a Boston Police Officer shot and killed my son during a routine traffic stop. Still, today I don’t know the officers name. I demand justice!!
Around 2pm on August 21, 2012, my son, Burrell called me and asked what I was doing after work because he was going to come by to see me. After waiting for my son for an hour or so, I began to walk out the door when I got a message that something happened to my son and for me to go to the hospital because it doesn’t look good. When I arrived at the hospital they took me to a room, after 10 minutes a doctor came in with the bad news. A few minutes later, a homicide detective came left his card and departed. I was left with a heavy heart and the task of burying my child. Commissioner Davis then announced that his officer was justified in shooting my son, even before he heard the truth.
Churches pulled away from me and funeral home prices increased; the whole time my heart was aching. After 11 years of working on Beacon Hill, no politician inquired and no apology from the police department. I feel I am at least owed an apology because I did not give them permission to take my son from me and the whole department knows it was a bad shoot.
This is the very condensed nice version for now. On August 21, 2013, I will post my full story and demand the truth be told. Now you are going to get what the police want you to hear because now they’ve had a year to create it. Not just for my son, but for all the “Bo”s in our communities, I ask for everyone who knew Bo, every mother, and everyone who has a dream to stand with me and claim our justice!!
We Need Justice For Bo
The Incident (as told by his mom, Carla Sheffield)
A Man Loved By So Many
Bo's goal was to own a business, I don’t know what kind really because he scrambled and changed his goals so often, but he wanted to be his own boss. He was ambitious and generous, he would give you his last dollar if he could and make sure he didn’t sleep until he made it back. By that I mean his ambition would push him to never go without and always find ways to make income. Success and getting away from Boston was what he recently spoke on before passing. He wanted to move to Atlanta to get a fresh start. He felt like Boston was becoming too negative. He always said once he could save enough to leave that he would. Things he spoke on most about it being so negative was the violence, whether it was citizen versus citizen or even police against citizens. He was very passionate about police brutality and being harassed by police for no reason. Also, constantly being judged about past mistakes and decisions, his mind was set on progression.
Bo was a talented rapper; he was recording new music days before passing and spoke about taking his music more serious. Besides loving music he loved to eat! He was by far the greediest person I have ever known. He would come to my house and run straight to the fridge. I recall a few times he would call me to come over when he showed up with groceries and cooked full meals. They were always good too, surprisingly.
Bo was definitely a “mama’s boy”; he would speak so highly about his mom and her work ethics. He wanted to make sure that she was taken care of and didn’t want her to be working hard. He was very family oriented and put them first in every situation. The women of the family were his focus from his “Gma” to his little sister, Zyariah. His giving and generous attitude was with anyone he cared about. I remember for my birthday we got a table at a club for $900, Bo put up his last $500 and said “Happy Birthday”. I told him he didn’t have to and kept trying to talk him out of it, but he said “Nah, you need to have a good time!” I miss my brother more than anything. He was definitely one of a kind and made an impact on my life.
A Poem Written By Burrell's Mother
Carla & Burrell
A picture of Bo with his mom, on his way to church.
I miss my son, I miss my child
You took him from me
And hid all the while
I miss my sons face,
My heart’s in a broken place
You took my son without my permission
Now I’m crying, praying, and wishing
That justice be served,
Because, if nothing else it’s what I deserve
You pretend to protect and serve
You got a damn nerve
You carry a badge and gun
Yet expect a brother not to run
You wear a uniform pretending to be a cop
When he asked you not to, you raised your gun and shot
Now I’m left to wrap that around my head
That Boston Police shot my son dead
No words of comfort you said nothing nice
I hope to hell this haunts you for life
A mystery shooter, I know it’s weird
He shot my son and disappeared
Its wasn’t a child from off the street
It was Boston Police that walk the beat
Oh yeah, you said he open fired
But we all know that’s code, you liar
That’s what your super told you to say
Its makes it easier to clear you that way
Our children are dropping time after time
But to be shot by police now, that’s a crime
Then you say my child’s death wasn’t violent
It was to me because my life was silenced
As my story comes to an end
How do I tell my 9 year old police are your friend?
You reap what you sow and just so you know
As Burrell’s mother I’ll never let this go.
Carla J. Sheffield
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