Jason Head_Shot[1]

By Jason Sutcliffe

St. Aubyn Rodney, Tahj Loor-Walters, O’She Doyles-Whyte and Kwame Duodu four friends, all dead. In the last 6 months, there has been 5 shootings in the Jane & Finch area 4 of them fatal, and none of the victims older than 17.

What do we do to bring an end to the senseless violence? There are a lot of things that need to happen in my opinion, and from all angels. We need to identify the real problem; how are these guns getting into the hands of children? They certainly did not bring them over the border, or walk into a store and buy them.

There needs to be a better relationship between the police and the people of the community. Also, the community needs to do a better job of working with the police.

As adults, we need to close the gaps that are young people seem to be falling through in our communities. We have children murdered in the street, and nobody is willing to step forward and provide information. Police have not done enough to create a positive relationship within the community. That is not going to happen over night, but we need to work towards it.

People in our city for the most part experience negative interaction with the police. Police are public servants. They should act like it. Say hello to people walking down the street. Smile and get involved in a positive way. Stop and talk to the neighbourhood kids on the corner instead of searching them, calling them names, or chasing them, Introduce yourself stop and talk to people sitting on their porch without having to be called there.

People do not trust the police—period. They have very little confidence that the police can keep them or their loved ones safe. It is funny to me that people bash the police, complaining that they are not doing their job, but when these kids get gunned down, nobody saw anything, no one has any information. They are literally on the news, begging people to come forward and get nothing.

It is a two way street, the police can not expect people to trust them, or work with them, without some positive interaction. We as citizens can not expect the police to solve crimes and clean up our neighbourhoods without our help. They are not magicians. So if we want something better than we have now we better acknowledge that there is work to do on both sides. Then maybe our “at risk youth” will not be so “at risk”.

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