Victim aimed to combat youth violence

By Laura Crimaldi
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mattapan massacre victim Simba Martin, who would have turned 22 yesterday and is being buried today, was remembered as youth activist who sought to eradicate the street violence that claimed his life.

In an open letter, the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project described Martin as a “true leader” and “courageous man.”

“Let us remember that Simba worked to decrease youth violence, and make Boston a better place for young people,” the letter states. “Simba didn’t judge others, and showed true compassion and dedication with his work in the Boston community.”

Martin, his girlfriend Eyanna Louise Flonory, 21, her son, Amanihoteph Smith, 2, and Levaughn Washum-Garrison, 22, were gunned down Sept. 30 on Woolson Street in Mattapan. Marcus A. Hurd, 32, is at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

The only suspect arrested so far, Kimani Washington, 35, of Dorchester, yesterday agreed to return to Massachusetts from New Hampshire to face a weapons charge. He is not charged with murder.

A funeral for Martin, a native of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, was set for today.

The YOP letter said Martin joined the group in 2005, launching its chapter at Muriel S. Snowden International School.

In 2006, Martin was charged with armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon in a South End incident, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to three years of probation. He was mentored at the time by Snowden officials, who told a judge he had a lot to offer.

Yesterday’s YOP letter said that in 2007, Martin served as a representative to the United Youth & Youth Workers of Boston and launched the “Youth Way on the MBTA” campaign, pushing for affordable T passes for students. “Simba was not full of potential, he was full of accomplishments,” wrote YOP director Najma Nazy’at. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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