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Drive-by ends in death & frustration

admin | 9/11/2011, 9:11 a.m.

Black-on-Black crime escalates, threatens safety of all

Liberty City continues to be ground zero for Miamis escalating Black-on-Black crime rates the most recent and tragic example being a drive-by shooting on a busy northwest thoroughfare that ended in the death of 19-year-old Jacorey Nathaveil Aaron. Jacorey was standing with a group of other men early Thursday morning (June 16th) at an often-frequented convenience store (Northwest 13th Avenue and 62nd Street) when, according to police, a 1997 white Nissan Maxima drove past and at least one person began firing. Four men were shot, including Jacorey who died shortly after being transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Terry K. Brown, 43 and William B. Hadley, 18 both required immediate medical attention and were hospitalized while a fourth victim, Collins E. Stanley, Jr. 27, was treated and released. Two other men were treated at the scene with minor injuries. City of Miami Police have been unable to determine a motive thus far for the random act of violence but have since recovered the vehicle and say they believe that evidence left at the scene will help them find the killers. In a public appeal last Friday, Elton Duncan and Frances Aaron, the parents of Jacorey, talked about their son and shared their anguish over his death and the rising violence that has taken over their community. No matter where you go, the violence is going to be there, Duncan said. It needs to stop.

Community must get busy to effectively curtail crime

Nationally, Blacks make up 13.5 percent of the population but account for more than 45 percent of all murder victims 90 percent of those are killed by other Blacks. And everyone is affected, whether it be socially, politically, economically or psychologically. An estimated 4.5 billion dollars are spent annually on healthcare related to violence. As for young Black men between the ages of 15 and 24, the situation is even more grave. The latest statistics show that they are more likely to be killed as a result of Black-on-Black violent crime than by any other means. The story is the same in almost every urban city in the U.S. from Little Rock where 79 percent of their homicides were the result of Black-on-Black crime to Boston which has seen a 40 percent rise in murders of young Black men, 14 to 17 years of age. City of Miami Chief Miguel Exposito says while the police will continue its enforcement efforts, the communitys help is sorely needed. Just before I took over in 2009, Miami was already plagued by Black-on-Black crime, he said. The bloodiest situations on record were in Overtown at a party where 11 were shot or killed and in Liberty City where nine were shot or killed. Community leaders begged us to do something about the violence and we have used a variety of strategies including conducting probation violation inspections, making multiple arrests at public housing facilities for trespassing and just a few months ago, initiating walks with pastors and other activists in places where crime is prevalent, like Liberty Square. Most people want to see their neighborhoods cleaned up but in order to catch perpetrators we need tips from witnesses. The police cannot do it alone. City Commissioner Richard P. Dunn II says the recent drive-by in Liberty City just points to how brazen young criminals have become. We must take proactive measures immediately to help make our streets safer, he said. Enforcing the teen curfew will help but we also have to make it more difficult for groups of young Black men to loiter, especially past curfew hours, regardless of their age. This is usually done in front of Mom and Pop stores at strange hours in our neighborhoods.

Parents must step forward

Parents must become more involved and as Peggy Quince once said, we need to go back to those old-fashioned values and instill them in our children, said State Representative Cynthia Stafford. Second, we need to see the return of the beat cop who gets out of his patrol car and walks the neighborhood. We have a number of challenges to face but we have traditionally been a community of resilience. It will take a stronger community approach to turn things around. To that end, we may need to be creative and unselfish in providing wholesome, positive outlets for our young people this summer. City of Miami police spokesperson Kenia Reyes urges any citizen that may have witnessed or have knowledge about the shooting that claimed the life of young Jacorey Aaron to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477 or the Miami police at 305-603-6350. By D. Kevin McNeirkmcneir@miamitimesonline.com