Miami is reeling from a wave of gun violence which, like in Chicago, has claimed the lives of youth and devastated communities along the way. Most recently, 17-year-old Jose Videa was shot in the stomach while he waited for a school bus last Monday. His was just the latest in a string of gun-related incidents over the last week which claimed the lives of two other Miami youth.
It’s been a deadly couple of years. Since 2009, more than 100 youth have been killed in Miami-Dade County, and at least 81 of those homicides involved guns, the Miami Herald reported. It’s wearing down those in Miami in charge of keeping kids safe.
From the Miami Herald:
And close to half were students of Miami-Dade County public schools, according to Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who began campaigning against youth violence after Aaron was shot Dec. 19 while riding his bike from a friend’s house in Wynwood at 9 p.m.
“I made a promise when I became superintendent that I would attend the funeral, a viewing, a burial for every single child who would die a violent death in Miami. I am tired,” Carvalho, superintendent since late 2008, said during a news conference on the first day back from winter break. “We’ve covered this one time too many. I’ve attended over 40 such events, and it’s time to stop.”
Last week more than 20 pastors from Miami gathered to demand an end to gun violence. Their proposals? More community policing, youth mentorship and an end to the “don’t-snitch” culture which means those responsible for shootings often go free. They’re not new ideas, and much more will be needed to curb rampant gun violence. But the issue is about much more than just guns—it’s also about poverty and community safety and the disenfranchisement of communities of color—and it’s one that won’t go away on its own.
Miami leaders are starting to come around to this reality. From the Miami Herald, again:
Carvalho, who days earlier had canvassed Allapattah with the family of Bryan Herrera, a Miami Jackson sophomore shot dead on his bicycle Dec. 22, worried that the issue would “die out as a result of time simply passing.”
That hasn’t happened, in part because kids keep getting shot.