— Ronnie Yusuf Senegal’s Last Walk for Justice —
Helendale, CA — In a year when the question of “Black lives Matter” and gun control are the topic of political debates, campaigns and coffee house discussions, a story of a life come full circle emerges. This story does not have a happy ending. On Jan. 12, 2016, the week of Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, Ronnie Yusuf Senegal, beloved community activist, legal consultant, small business owner, husband, and father was gunned down at the age of 43 in the small town of Helendale, California, by an X Security Patrol Officer of his community. Ronnie Senegal kissed his wife, left on a morning walk and stopped to catch up with friends at a local gas station.
An argument incited between Ronnie Senegal, the store owner’s Son, Tony Maida and Brandon Todd, an x employee of Allied Barton, a security company hired by Silver Lakes Homeowners Association to patrol the community. The argument was over what Ronnie felt was the ongoing corruption and cover up of the dangerous conditions of a basketball court that he and several community members fell and injured themselves on. The Homeowners Association manager reportedly pressured security officers to lie during recent depositions for fear of job loss
A physical altercation occurred between Senegal and Brandon Todd that turned deadly. Brandon Todd, who has a felony in Texas, left the scene after the altercation and retrieved a gun He came back and shot Senegal over 5 times, killing him in cold blood. (Authorities are not sure how this felon was able to get the gun or how he was cleared to work for Allied Barton, one of the country’s top security companies).
Ronnie’s wife, Shirin, found him lying in a pool of blood as she screamed for help that took 25 minutes to arrive. Todd ran from the scene but was arrested the same day and is currently in custody at Adelanto Detention center awaiting trial for the murder of Senegal on 1.9 million bail. The San Bernardino District Attorney’s office has told the family that if convicted Brandon Todd faces 50 years to life but the family is seeking the Capital Punishment for the premeditation.
An extraordinary man of integrity and compassion
Shirin comments, “My husband was not an ordinary man; he was an EXTRAORDINARY man with heart and compassion. He took the shoes off his feet for people and made sure no one was without a meal. He was stripped from us by a coward and the corruption of Allied Barton and Silver Lakes Association especially it’s Manager Michael Bennett. He wanted more for the members of the small community and felt that our civil rights were being stripped away.”
Ronnie and his wife Shirin walked together for justice hand in hand for almost 5 years. They fought for people’s rights and focused on housing rights for families living in substandard conditions in Los Angeles and San Bernardino County, CA. A day before he passed Ronnie Senegal was working on pushing attorneys to stop the illegal lockouts of families living across the street from what will be the New Inglewood NFL Stadium.
The couple launched a program, called “Choices”, to pull from Ronnie’s background, and Shirin’s business experience to help youth and x offenders’ head in the right direction by using the fundamentals of the game of chess to make better Choices. The couple co-authored four books together, one about Ronnie’s life, entitled 3 Strikes, The Fight for My Life in the LA Men’s Central Jail.
The couple’s passion for feeding families and taking care of others can be seen in their love of Baking! Together they created Huni Bear Kobblers and donated proceeds from their family dessert company to FeedAmerica.org to help “Feed it Forward Program! Their goal was to raise 1 million meals because Ronnie knew as a child what it was like not to have. They gathered their small town of Helendale, California together around the holidays with their “Pay it Forward Group” to ensure every family had a good holiday.
A legacy to never be forgotten
In a life taken too soon we can look back and see that Ronnie struggled as many young black men but he made a choice to change his life and turn the hand he was dealt. This is a life that is deserving of remembering. Ronnie Yusuf Senegal lived every day wanting to make a difference and to leave a legacy. He wanted to be remembered not for his life mistakes, but for his life of change, of passion, of dedication to his wife, friends and family of fighting for justice, of compassion for others, and most of all, his resurrection into society as a changed human being.
Ronnie Yusuf Senegal walked his last Walk for Justice but his legacy for Justice will continue to touch and uplift others for a lifetime. He will never be erased from the hearts and minds of those who knew him and those who are just getting to know his story will be touched by this amazing black man who lost his life to senseless gun Violence and to a coward that did not value life or honor.
Shirin comments, “My husband was an amazing man who saw the worst that life could offer but chose to see the best in others regardless of their past. He was a gentle giant who loved his family friends and was loyal and kind.”
She adds, “Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite”, a painting Shirin’s husband hung for her on the wall was one of the few things she took when she left their home. I do not know how to pick up the pieces of my shattered life. All I know is that my beautiful husband’s death cannot be in vein.”
For more details about the life and legacy of Ronnnie Yusuf Senegal, please visit www.ronniesenegal.com
For more details about the case, please contact Attorney Maria Cavalluzzi at 323-467-2300 or Maria@cavalluzzi.com