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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Friend of Ras Baraka's found shot to death in his car

Mid-morning Sunday, the Ledger posted a story on its breaking news blog about the shooting death of a friend of former Deputy Mayor Ras Baraka's, saying the slain man was found in Baraka's car. When I went to refresh the screen about 7:00 PM, the story had been taken down. Below is a copy of the initial filing found in Google's cache. The one taken down had additional material.

Checking again at 10:30 PM, the second version below was found on the Ledger site. Note that all references to Ras Baraka and the car belonging to him have been scrubbed from the story.

The Monday print versions in both the Ledger (here) and the NY Times (here) point out the victim's responsibilities as a city employee and his popularity.

Besides the disappearance of Ras Baraka from the story, there is another coincidence that strike me as odd.

In Sunday's column, The Auditor remarks (see here) on spying Keith Reid, the indicted former chief of staff to Newark's council president, having a cup of coffee in the cafeteria in City Hall's basement. Reid was caught up in Chris Christie's corruption sting this fall and connected others to the investigation -- including Irvington mayor Wayne Smith, whose confidential assistant is the murder victim's sister.

The City Hall complex was part of the stomping grounds of the murder victim.

Watch carefully as this one unfolds.

Friend of former Newark deputy mayor shot and killed

by Kevin Dilworth/The Star-Ledger
Sunday December 30, 2007, 9:40 AM

A friend of former Newark Deputy Mayor Ras Baraka was shot and killed in Baraka's luxury sports car early today in front of an Eckert Street residence, apparently after dropping Baraka off at the airport and returning to that location, according to a law enforcement official.

The victim, identified as Khari Orr, a man in his 30s and the brother of Mayor Cory Booker's confidential assistant, Dawn Martinez, was found shot and lifeless, in the front driver's seat of the car about 4 a.m., in front of 10 Eckert St., the official said. He had just returned from Newark Liberty International Airport.

Orr was sitting behind the wheel of a late model gold Mercedes 300 SL500, and the vehicle was parked in front of the house of the victim's mother, the official said.

Newark police, members of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office homicide squad, and other law enforcement investigators responded to the scene -between Seymour Avenue and Osbourne Terrace, two blocks south of Route 78.
Google cached copy of story here.

Newark grapples with killing of city employee

by Ralph Ortega and Sharon Adarlo/The Star-Ledger
Sunday December 30, 2007, 6:43 PM

Khary Orr, a lifelong Newark resident, wanted to make a difference in his hometown. He interned at City Hall as a teen, set up block parties on his street, and helped plan a parade this summer denouncing the shootings that plague the city.

But the violence the 29-year-old fought against claimed his life early this morning.
Jennifer Brown/The Star-LedgerFriends and relatives gather outside the home of Khary Orr.

Orr, a city employee, was found slain by a single bullet to the head as he sat in a car near his home, leaving friends and family stunned.

He was found by police slumped in the drivers seat of a gold Mercedes-Benz at 4:30 a.m. after he dropped a friend off at Newark Liberty International Airport, said Paul Loriquet, spokesman for the Essex County Prosecutors Office.

When police arrived, the car was still running, Loriquet said. Orr was taken to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 6 a.m.

Authorities said they neither had information on the person Orr dropped off nor the car owner who loaned the vehicle to Orr. Detective Todd McClendon, a Newark police spokesman, said authorities believe Orr stopped at the Ideal Bar & Restaurant in Newark before he went home.

The death is the city's 98th homicide this year, but that is down from 106 for the same time period last year, McClendon said.
Ledger's rewritten breaking news post of story here.

Monday's Ledger: "City employee found shot to death in a car"
NY Times: "Newark Man Found Fatally Shot in Car Outside His Home"
-- Dan Damon

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Anonymous said...

Wow, good catch Dan. Newark has a way of massaging the news that is really appalling. The real details about those 3 kids who were executed last summer still have yet to come out and if you look at the Washington Blade, the info is certainly out there and available. Good for you for making this catch.
Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

that is certainly a story to keep your eyes on. they are obviously witholding info.

Anonymous said...

they are certainly witholding info. will keep a watch out for this story as it unfolds.