Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Dr. Boyce Watkins; What we can learn from the Murder of 5-Year Old Shaniya Davis and the Mother Who Helped her Die…

July 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( The mother of a 5-year old girl who went missing in Fayetteville, North Carolina has been indicted on murder charges.  Antoinette Nicole Davis has been charged with the murder of Shaniya Davis, facing charges of first degree murder, indecent liberties with a child, felony child abuse, felony sexual servitude, rape of a child, sexual offense of a child by an adult offender, human trafficking and making a false police report.  Her bond has been set at $1.5 million.

The little girl was reported missing from her home in Cumberland County in November, 2009.  She was later found in the weeds near the county line.  A  friend of Shaniya’s mother, Mario McNeil, was arrested for the kidnapping of Shaniya after surveillance footage from a local hotel showed him carrying her.  He allegedly raped and murdered her shortly thereafter.

The autopsy showed that the girl died from asphyxiation.  Police believe that Shaniya’s mother gave her to McNeil in order to settle a drug debt.

As a parent, there is nothing more vile, sickening and hurtful than to hear about harm coming to a child.  I can’t watch the surveillance video of this little girl without wishing in my heart that I could go back in time and save her from the monsters who had her in their care.   The sincerity, trust and unconditional love provided by our children is not always earned by the parent, with Ms. Davis and Mr. McNeil serving as obvious cases in point.

This situation also reminds us of the terrible power of drugs and how items exist in our community that can make a mother engage in the most unnatural act of giving away her own child to a predator.   When Shaniya’s mother is sober, the reality of what she’s done to her daughter will serve as a never ending alarm bell laced with the pain of knowing that you’ve done the unthinkable.  It is clear that she is in need of treatment as much as prison, and some might question whether she should be allowed to raise a child ever again.

Avoiding the temptation of substance abuse is a clear message from this horrific tale.  Additionally, we must all speak up and out when we see children in our community who are being abused.  It’s quite likely that there were friends or relatives of Shaniya’s mother who were aware of the problem long ago and simply chose to mind their own business.  Protecting our children is business that belongs to ALL of us, and a strong village might have saved this little girl’s life.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit


5 Responses to “Dr. Boyce Watkins; What we can learn from the Murder of 5-Year Old Shaniya Davis and the Mother Who Helped her Die…”
  1. Delfina says:

    You are trying to explain the unexplainable. There are some things in human life that can’t be explained, like motherhood, the mistery of love, the msitery of brutality, murder. You are looking at this case trying to make a consoling message out of it: “if our society stays off drugs this will never happen again”. FALSE. A parent that tortures, gives away, doesn’t give a damn about its child’s destiny? It has happened before, and it will happen again. Drugs have nothing to do with it. I know it is rather consoling to think that drugs are the cause that this woman lost her mind, but it is not. If it were so, how many drug addicts would daily giev their child away? There’s a reason why this is NEWS. It doesn’t happen to every drug addict. So don’t try to make something scientific (one plus one equals two) about the complexity of human tragedy. The woman could have been sobre and donde the same thing. Lots of sober people did worse or the same in sober conditions. Go look for the play “Medea”.

  2. toomanygrandkids says:

    Ms. Davis? Mr. McNeill? Thats a probiem right there. Why are criminals called Mr., Miss, and Ms.? Shouldn’t those titles be reserved for respectable people? These murderers should be called something else. They’re called Mr. and Miss in court and by law enforcement. Should call them what they are: crazy asses.

  3. toomanygrandkids says:

    What we can learn from this:
    2.) REPORT these unfit, crackhead bitches who are neglecting their children.
    Unfortunately, millions of black children aren’t protected by the very ones who are suppose to provide protection.

    I was truly happy to hear this fool got the death penalty. YES! Hopefully, it won’t take 20 years to execute this demon.

  4. xhen says:

    different states different regions allows different outcomes

    san francisco a man riding in a car shoots a family in another – the man was young illegal but had been given help to rectify his gang ways and all criminal past in a program called clean slate all paid for by taxes. so many people felt bad for ramos because he had lost his way, which is how the press painted him.

    family lost a caring father and brothers – wife-mother left with one son (who was in car but survived). the father and sons had privilege of born american – ramos and friend took down family like feral dogs do farm animals.

  5. Mary says:

    With the recent devastation of Casey Anthony being acquitted it is refreshing to think that at least there may still be justice for our Angel Shaniya!! I pray the Jury in this trial will not be as blinded as those in the previous trial.

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