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

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.

Two Teens Were Killed 

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CREDIT: Gun Memorial, CBS Local News

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 

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CREDIT: Gett Images

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 

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CREDIT: YouTube

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

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CREDIT: Getty Images

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.