Raising her three children in Park Slope, things were not always easy for Vivi Artope. Her partner, Lyndon, was sentenced to 21 years in jail, leaving her to raise the children alone. “I learned to play football and basketball so I could play with them,” she said. “I became their mom and dad.”
And although she was only 17 when she had her first son, Dheyshawn, she says that his life made hers a little easier. “Even before he could talk he would crack me up,” she said. “People used to call him 'little Eddie Murphy.'”
Dheyshawn loved music and as a teenager would travel all over Brooklyn and Manhattan to sell his CDs. His own YouTube channel eventually made distributing his music and comedy easier, and he had some success selling beats to commercial producers.
Dheyshawn later worked as a manager at Radioshack, a job he loved. Vivi keeps his phone’s battery charged because former customers sometimes call, unaware that he has passed. “They’re trying to be friends with me now!” she said.
Dheyshawn had 2 children, Julian, now 18, and Dheyshawn, 14, who lives in London. On the morning he died, Dheyshawn found out that his sister was expecting her first child. He promised her “the biggest baby shower ever,' and was on the way to her house when he died.
This collision happened on May 26, 2014 near Kings Highway and Clarendon Road in Brooklyn. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.