Relatives of Slain Far Rockaway Teen Says It Ain't So
The mother of the late Tyrese Johnson, who was murdered two weeks ago outside the Redfern housing complex in Far Rockaway, told The Wave last week that it was his father's side of the family that got her son killed.
She insisted that Tyrese was mistaken for a cousin on his father's side, who she said was a criminal, and that the likeness between the two teens led to her son's untimely death.
The family of Stanley Jackson, Tyrese's father, doesn't think so, however. They contacted The Wave to say that they are the victims of hatred, animosity and cruel intentions.
"My brother didn't deserve the things said about him in the paper last week," Stanley's sister, Denise Jones said. "My brother has five kids and [Tyrese] is the only one he didn't have a relationship with."
The reason that Tyrese had no relationship with his father, she believes, is because her brother was forced away from Tyrese by the teen's mother, who didn't allow the two to develop a relationship.
"My brother always tried to pick him up," she said. "But [his] mother would always tell him that he wasn't home, or that he just left."
Denise says her brother has been a New York City Corrections Officer for 20 years, is a good father, and always supported his child financially, despite not having a personal relationship.
"Tyrese's mother] kept the kid a stranger from us," she said. "My brother is a married and a hard-working family man."
Tyrese had just returned from living in North Carolina but his father's family said that they never even knew that he had left Rockaway.
Johnson did return to Far Rockaway and, according to police, he and an unidentified friend were walking into a restaurant at 1075 Beach 21 Street at about 2:15 p.m. on May 19 when he was shot once in the head, at close range, ending his abbreviated life.
Jones told The Wave that she was not doing this interview to bash the mother's family, but rather to preserve her brother's name and reputation as a devoted family man.
However, Jones was visibly angry about the recent events, which included Tyrese's father paying for his son's funeral and burial, and what she described as "inappropriate behavior just moments before putting Tyrese in the ground for good."
"It was really disgusting," she said. "We should have all been concentrating on catching the killer instead of bashing our family."
Jones says that, at the cemetery, Johnson's mother's family became verbally abusive and disruptive towards their brother claiming he was never around for Tyrese and that he was a generally bad person.
Something Denise feels wasn't the right time or place.
"They threw of their best shot and we kept our heads up," she said. "My brother paid for the entire funeral and they still weren't happy. They act like Stanley owes them something now that Tyrese is dead. They took advantage of my brother."
The cousin that Tyrese's mother says that her son was mistaken for is not even a Jackson, the family says.
"That kid is not even a direct relative, and further, how do we know that this is really a case of mistaken identity," Jones said. "Somebody set [Tyrese] up that day."
In addition Jones says her brother is no deadbeat dad and that he always wanted to be with his son. She says that despite the way he was being treated, that her brother stayed by Tyrese's mother's side the entire time after their son was killed.
"After all that the family was still nasty to us," Jones said.
Even though Jones hadn't seen her nephew since 1999 it was still upsetting to know that he was murdered and his life was cut down so soon.
"Our niece and nephew saw him laying on the ground, so that is how we found out what happened," she said. "I immediately drove to my brother's house because I didn't want him to be alone when he found out the news."
Stanley Jackson's other sister, Lisa Harris, says there is no more need for the two families to talk to one another or harass her brother.
"There is no more connection between us," she said. "Everything is gone."