Group launches citywide initiative to combat gun violence among kids, young adults

ByAnthony Carlo WABC logo
Saturday, July 8, 2023
Group launches citywide initiative to combat gun violence among kids
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A group came together in Brooklyn to launch a citywide initiative aimed at combatting gun violence among children and young adults. Anthony Carlo has more.

EAST FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) -- There are many ways to express yourself - but for some kids, it is music and dance.

"Young people always want to express themselves. They want to have a conversation. For some, it may be more challenging than others, but they want someone to speak to," said Brooklyn Councilmember Farah N. Louis.

Alex Rogoobeer, 17, is that someone for his friends - especially when they start to stray.

"I tell them 'yo, this is not the right way - do good - don't involve other people in your mess,'" he says.

It is an approach many of these Brooklyn teens are taking - sorting out issues before they escalate to gun violence - what took the life of Roy Holder's 19-year-old son, Ethan.

"Sometimes they don't understand it's not a video game. Like, you don't come back, you don't get an additional life. Anytime we can give them stark reality without it being a funeral, it's a good time to talk to them," Holder said.

Friday was that time. There were conflict meditation classes and mental health support - all part of council member Farah Louis' safe summer rally in East Flatbush.

"We know as the temperature rises, there's an increased threat. So for us, this is our way of circumventing that," Louis said.

It follows a bloody week in the city. At least 25 people were shot in the Bronx alone from last Friday through July 4, including a 5-year-old girl. It was a concern for A.T. Mitchell, the Mayor's Gun Czar.

"We're about precision resourcing. Our office looking in those same neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn, mostly where a lot of the shootings are taking place - we're planning a lot more events like this," Mitchell said.

These events will hopefully help prevent another parent from enduring unimaginable pain.

Shootings in the city are actually down 25 percent so far this year. The resources are being deployed across Central Brooklyn to double down on prevention.

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