Five Important Factors Of Liberty City's Fight Against Gun Violence

The community has come together to protest the gun violence that plagues the infamous area. 

The narrative of gun violence in America are no longer isolated incidents. As each tragedy continues to overshadow the next, a community of black voices rallied to combat gun and gang violence in one of the nation's most precarious areas–Miami's Liberty City.

It's been nearly a week since the death of two teens who were shot in a cascade of bullets in broad daylight. Teenagers Kimson Green and Rickey Dixon lost their lives Apr. 1, with two others were injured in the shooting. While the incident took place only an hour from Parkland, attention has remained lull as the shootings in black neighborhoods are seen as germane. But that changed when hundreds of students from Miami Northwestern Senior High School walked out of school to call out not only gun violence, but the normalcy that surrounds in the predominantly African-American area.

Here are five things you need to know about the shooting and the protests that took place as apart of the aftermath.

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Two Teens Were Killed 

Seventeen-year-old Kimson Green was a sophomore at Miami Northwestern Senior High School who was set to be inducted into the National Honors Society on May 9. One of Green's teachers described him as a hard-worker who always strived to do his best. "If he got a B, he wanted to know what can he do to get an A in his assignment. That's the student we know," said Shakeita Gunder to ABC's Local News 10. Green's mother, Dominique, contributed her having to bury her own child as a consequence of her neighborhood. "I got to bury my child, my only child. Parents be saying I had a good child. No, I really had an A1A student -- an A1A student – it's just where I live at. That's all," said a distraught Green.

Eighteen-year-old Rickey Dixon was a former student of the school and also died on the scene. As of Monday (Apr. 9) morning, the two other students who were hospitalized were still being treated. Police refused to release their names as an investigation is still underway.

The Protest Was Planned by Adults, But Children Took The Lead

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On Tuesday (Apr. 10), students from Northwestern Senior High staged a walkout during class in order to show their discontent with the violence that plagues their community. The students took to the streets to honor the lives of Kimson and Rickey all the while bolstering signs that read "enough is enough." The protests lasted for about an hour then students returned to class. Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho  said that on Monday more students arrived to seek grief counseling than he's ever seen before.

Parkland Students Are Speaking Out In Support 

The victims of the Parkland shooting used the media spotlight placed onto them and used it to become activists. While they have been criticized for their age, they have remained resilient and vocal about their commitment to seek change where gun violence is concerned. Liberty City is only 49 minutes south of Parkland; however the lack of coverage in the media suggests that the two towns are worlds apart. Emma Gonzalez, a victim of the Parkland shooting turned activist pivotal, has actively taken to Twitter to tell her 1.56 million followers to express the same support and interest in Liberty City as they have for Parkland.

Matt Deitsch, another victim turned activist from Parkland and the Chief Strategist in the March for Our Lives protest, has also taken to Twitter to offer words of solidarity with the people of Liberty City. He cites that there needs to be anti-violent programming that supports sustainable employment in places like Liberty City.

The People of Liberty City Are Calling Out Miami's Police Department Director and Chief 

So far, police have offered little information as to what motivated the shootings and who were behind them. However, that didn't prevent the people of Liberty City to express their frustrations to the Miami-Dade Police Department. Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez and Mayor Francis Suarez move to increase patrolling and police presence in the area has been debated by community leaders as it draws a bigger wedge between residents and police.

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Residents also believe it may entice more shootings as there were five shootings in eight days at the public housing complexes. One of those shootings was that of four-year-old Nyla Jones who was shot and killed by her own uncle Ronald Jones Jr. The shooting took place on Apr. 1 as a heated argument escalated between her uncle and one of her aunts. In the midst of the dispute, which is believed to be over food stamps, Jones went to move the gun from his waistband when it went off by accident. He is currently being charged with one count of second-degree murder and three counts of attempted second-degree murder with a deadly weapon.

This shooting took place two blocks away from the shootings of Kimson Green and Rickey Dixon. Police believe that the shooting of the two teenagers may have been an act of gang retaliation.

Florida Is Slightly Trying To Change It's "Gunshine" State Image

Fla. Governor Rick Scott signed a gun control bill into law on Monday (Apr. 9). The bill effectively raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21, created a wait period of three days (or until a background check is completed, whichever is longer), banned bump stocks (used in several mass shootings over the years), armed school employees, funded school security, and expanded mental health services and regulations. However, the bill did not do what many Parkland survivors asked which was to ban assault weapons and suspend AR-15 sales.

Gov. Scott, an avid Republican, turned heads as he broke significantly from the National Rifle Association with whom he has an A+ rating with. Merely hours after he signed the legislation, the NRA filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court stating that the age restriction was a "blanket ban" that violated both the Second and 14th Amendments.

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5 Stories From Meek Mill's #CRWN Conversation That Flew Under The Radar

Meek Mill made his return to Elliot Wilson's #CRWN conversation on Sunday (Dec. 2) for an in-depth discussion of Championships, his behind-bars experience and prison reform.

Live from New York City’s Playstation Theatre, the stage was set with two throne-like chairs as Mill and Wilson's fans began to swarm through the packed house. Loaded with fans from Philly, Jersey and NYC alike, the crowd was buzzing in anticipation for Meek’s grand arrival. Introduced by Wilson, the veteran journalist briefed in-house and live-streamed listeners with his relationship with the Philly rapper, discussing the many times the two have linked “from the MMG days to now.”

“It’s just amazing to see how he’s continued to fight this adversity and continued to deliver great music,” says Wilson, engaging in a back and forth conversation with the crowd. “When you put out a title and say you’re going to name your album Championships, you better deliver,” Wilson continues. “And he delivered.”

Appearing on stage sporting a mid-length fur coat and glistening jewels, Meek and Wilson exchange a quick embrace as the live audience jumps to its feet to welcome their champion. Taking his experience to lean into activism, Meek engaged in a 90-minute conversation with the journalist, answers fan-questions and candidly tell his story as he sees fit.

But as tabloid fate would have it, one of the sole stories to come out of the meaningful conversation was his awkward date with then-girlfriend Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z and Beyonce. The memories Meek decided to share like adorable moments with his son, his newfound position in the battle for criminal justice reform and recording Championships fell to the wayside.

But don't fret. Here are some other memorable moments from the interview.

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1. Meek's Best Day in Jail Included a Visit From Kevin Hart

Meek's final day in jail was similar to the others. He woke up, successfully avoided jail food by making his morning oatmeal and knew his day was heading in a good direction when he won five consecutive ping pong games against his daily opponent– who want the smoke?

After heading back to his cell, Meek's day got a whole lot better when Kevin Hart and 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin had pulled up on him by surprise. "They come on the block and I was like, 'Man come in my cell and see how this sh*t look,'" Meek starts. "So Kevin Hart and Mike, they come in the cell and they like 'It's not that bad,' they tryna make me feel good, I'm like 'The hell you mean it's not that bad? I got my boxers hanging up on the f**king string'" the rapper jokingly recalls. After the much-needed hour-long visit, Meek returned to his daily jailhouse activities when he learned that he would be released from jail within hours. What a day.

2. Friends and Family Would Send Him IG Post Printouts Through Mail

When Meek packed his cell to go home, he had over 10,000 photos to sift through since his tribe brought the world of Instagram to him through the mail. "I used to tell everybody like, 'Yo, just send me everything that's going on on Instagram, I wanna see everything that's  going on in life.'"

The rapper separated his photos by importance, keeping the photos of his family in a separate pile with his other pile (filled with pictures of all the IG models and famous ladies) holding a different level of importance to those who stood behind bars with him. "It was valuable cause some guys in there they got 25 years in this s**t, they ain't never see the fake a**es yet and the girls with the new bodies, so you know, they all in my cell like, 'What's up with these pictures?'"

3. He Purposely Steered Away From Lending Tekashi 6ix9ine Advice

While breaking down Championships cut "Respect the Game," Meek spoke on hip-hop's freshman class including Tekashi 6ix9ine, Lil Durk and YoungBoy NBA. "[Tekashi] used to be poppin' so much sh*t on Instagram, I be like 'I don't even wanna say nothing to this young boy, this young boy start sayin' all this crazy sh*t to me on the internet," he joked.

On a more serious note, Meek speaks on the real issue he had with 6ix9ine, sharing his concern for the 22-year-old's habits in starting drama with some of hip-hop's most dangerous faces. "With my music, I wanted to reach all of 'em," he said, explaining how when the music speaks for itself, you don't need to ensue controversy to sell records.

4. His 7-Year-Old Son Already Has a Rapper Name

Give it 10 years and we might see Meek Mill's son on the Billboard charts. Answering a fan question about "Lil Drip," Meek clarifies that Lil Drip is actually his son Papi's, rapper name. "Sometimes I be in the studio I be like 'Yo, I give you $500 if you go in the booth and rap right now and he just go in the booth and lay it.'" Sampling a few adorable bars, Meek reveals that his son consistently shocks him with his material, bringing up some of the most trivial experiences he's shared with Meek.

"He be like, 'Private jet/ Who I met/ Ben Simmons/ That's a bet,'" spits Meek, referring to a previous birthday trip he's taken with Papi.

5. Jay-Z's Verse on "What's Free" Was a Pivotal Moment in Meek's Career

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During the conversation, Meek speaks on "What's Free" with Rick Ross and Jay-Z, remembering the first time he heard Jay's 44 bar verse. "When I got it back I was in the bathroom, I was just standing in the mirror listening to it," he says while bopping his head, fully immersing himself in the moment.

"I represent the path that HOV created," Meek tells Wilson. "I always wanted that Jay-Z feature and he came through this time, shout out to HOV."

Stream the entire conversation here.

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