Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Neutrality Kills

 I found myself inside the barely staffed Mecklenburg Courthouse yesterday taking care of a small amount of work when I received a text message that Chris Radok had been murdered.  Since that moment, through the now, the magical instant before me I still feel the shock of hearing such a tragedy.  Sorting out the details will take awhile, however I am patient in these types of matters and already have my nose to the ground in an effort to not only understand, but to make sure that Radok's killer is brought to justice and his murder is not simply labeled the 'first' of 2011 in Charlotte and then swept cleanly under the rug. The victory society aided by local media not media often uses sporting labels to mark an incident or action in an effort to separate themselves from actually accepting how the outcome created makes them feel.  The feeling I have right now is a sick realization that I will never see Radok alive again.

  This is what I know as of this morning.  On Monday, the day before yesterday 29 year old Antoine Young, a convicted felon with multiple prior criminal convictions broke into Radok's house.  Chris came home while this habitual criminal was still there and a confrontation ensued.  According to my source close to the police, Radok died from blood loss caused by multiple stab wounds and defensive injuries.  In that situation I imagine Radok to have not given up easily.  He was a tall man with plenty of life experience to know that the seconds before him were an immediate time to defend himself with everything he had.  When the Medics arrived they could not save him, he was pronounced dead on the floor inside of his home.  Young was arrested at his father's house on Enfield Road by a CMPD VCAT team later that night.  Antoine Young has been charged with Radok's murder. 

I first met Radok in Late 2002 shortly after he contacted me regarding a photo assignment that he was given to work with me and several of the other messengers in town.  Sam Boykin was writing a cover story for the Creative Loafing about what we do and how it makes us feel called, The Two Wheeled Path. Radok's job was to make the images that would support the article.  If memory serves me right, it was snowing lightly the day he came uptown and introduced himself.  Chris was a tall man, skinny with huge eyes and an articulate skull, there was something about him that was authentic and genuine. I immediately felt like I could be myself in his presence.  He was real.  The shoot took several hours as we moved around town trying to get 'the' shot.  Radok was very physical on the job, I remember him running along side of me a few times with that wide fish eye lens.  At one point he was actually running backwards in between the parked cars and the lane I was in rolling towards him.  His huge reach was extended holding the camera above his head pointed down at me as he made the picture.  When that work was done he thanked us for being easy to get along with and he told me that we would get together soon and look at the images. He had me over his place off of 8th Street a few days later to give me a sneak peek at the pictures before they went to print.  That was the kind of man he was. 

Over the years Radok and I worked on at least one other photo assignment together and we became friends who often shared a coffee and conversation about the world, bikes and photography.  Radok, you will be truly missed.

From Cedar Posts:

You can help: Police are searching for Chris Radok’s 2001 Grey Jeep Cherokee with NC license plate WPH-5769. Should you see the missing Jeep please call 911 or 704-432-TIPS. Anyone with additional information regarding this crime can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.


Doug said...

vehicle found:

Billy Fehr said...

Thanks Doug,
Please be advised: Learn as much as you can about Antoine Young. If you have the time show up at his court appearances, it is the only chance we have and we must stay on this one.