Miami Gardens leaders to face hard facts

Queen Brown | 11/7/2013, 9 a.m.
Miami-Dade County is no different from any other urban city in this country when it comes to gun violence plaguing ...

Miami-Dade County is no different from any other urban city in this country when it comes to gun violence plaguing the streets of our communities. No city or community in this country goes unscathed by the escalating incidents of gun violence. Whether the violence is stemming from domestic abuse, gangs or justifiable homicides the pain and loses are irreplaceable and immeasurable. However, we have the power and resources as a community to address the senseless violence. We must develop strategies that seek to end violence and not to end the lives of those perceived as violent. We must work together to address the concerns and delinquency of our youth and families at risk of violence with intervention and prevention programs and services. We must strive to end the violence and save the lives of people at risk of becoming violent.

In a recent article in The Miami Times Mayor Oliver Gilbert said recent “shootings in the City are not random.” He continued by saying the shootings of 13-year-old Nevilisha Francis and 12-year-old Tequila Forshee were targeted instances. The fact that two little girls were targets eerily implies that their actions or those of people around them are what led to the shootings. The fact that both young girls were targets is more disturbing than I ever even imagined. To know that there are killers in our community who possess the weapons, skill, precision and the heart to shoot inside of a home and hit their intended target is troubling.

The City of Miami Gardens officials and its law enforcement are to be commended for the reduction in crime in 2012. This accomplishment speaks volumes for Miami Gardens elected officials and men and women in law enforcement. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the number of violent crimes in Miami Gardens. Not yet. Over the past year our elected officials have touted the fact that overall crime is down in the City. However, residents of this community must be given the hard facts and the reality that violence is on the rise in our community. Strides have been made in the right directions by establishing a citizens patrol and other measures. As residents we must be encouraging and supportive of the new leadership. However, we must be willing to accept personal responsibility for our children and social responsibility for our community. It will take the entire village to get a real handle on the violence that has erupted in our streets.

Queen Brown is a freelance writer, a motivational speaker and a trained crime victim’s advocate.