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We must unite to combat youth violence

caines | 9/27/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Overtown residents, community leaders and City of Miami officials attended a youth football game in response to a recent shooting that wounded three people at Gibson Park. The gathering was to promote park safety. This show of unity against street violence is proving to be very effective in curbing violence. However, the residents must continue to involve community leaders and local politicians in their stance against violence. Non-violence must become a way of life. All those who came together to lend their support to the community are to be commended for their public stance. However, parents and other residents must continue this united front against the people who are committing the violence. Understandably, no one wants to get shot or stand in the line of gunfire. However, we must not give in to street violence. Our children must understand that we will not tolerate violent behavior from them or anyone else. They must know that we will call the police when there is evidence of violent or criminal behavior. We must not allow shootings at local parks to become a trend for local assailants. Unfortunately, we had several park shootings throughout Miami-Dade County since last year. In June of 2011, four children were shot and wounded as they practiced football at West Little River Park. Later that same year in November 2011, four people three adults and one child were shot at Bunche Park. Now another three have been wounded by gunfire in this latest incidence at Gibson Park. As expected the police knew from the very onset those responsible for these violent acts. After all, the gunmen were not members of terrorist or extremist groups; they are all well-known in the community. It took police just two days after the Bunche Park shooting for police to arrest 20-year-old Tyrone Bivins and charge him with four counts of attempted murder. In the Gibson Park shooting police are looking for 20-year-old Jamar Jordan. Residents in the community must be commended for taking swift action in assisting police by identifying the gunmen in both cases. The City of Miami leaders were on point by coming out and supporting the residents in this shooting and not seeking to shut down the park as other cities have chosen to do in the past. The united front against violence we witnessed at Gibson Park must continue. In doing so the message will soon resonate throughout Miami-Dade that violence will not be tolerated in this County. Queen Brown is a freelance writer, a motivational speaker and a trained crime victims advocate.queenb2020@bellsouth.net