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The local media has stopped giving the body counts of Black youth murdered in Minneapolis. This creates a public safety issue beyond our local discussions. What it means – bodies are still on cold slabs that haven’t been buried and local officials haven’t a clue on how to stop youth violence and the senseless deaths of human beings.
By Donald Allen, Editor in Chief – The Independent Business News Network
Minneapolis, MN (IBNN/Murder, Death, Kill/Nov. 19, 2012)…I’m sick of people getting in large groups and saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” don’t you think we know that already? But what does it take to stop the senseless murders and Black on Black crime in north Minneapolis’ village?
In 2012, the Black community has seen murders of babies and youth to the point were the local mainstream media no longer publishes or reports the number of Black people killed. This has become an epidemic of massive proportions because to loose a life as a 3-year old, or as a young adult is a shameless tragedy caught in a system of continued benign neglect by those who need to have better oversight in our neighborhoods.
Minneapolis city councilman Don Samuels (Ward 5), north Minneapolis has held and attended numerous vigils for youth gunned down in the prime of their lives. I’m sure he would much rather be working on ways to assist north Minneapolis residents build capacity by seeking business to come into the north side and hire it’s residents. That won’t happen until the issues of public safety are addressed.
This time, rather than complain, I’ll give several solutions.
In the summer of 2012, I was asked to shadow Mr. Wesley Smith, founder of Drop Outs to Drop Ins as he and a team walked covered an area from Broadway to Dowling, between Lyndale and Penn Avenue North. What I encountered was over 200 youth who informed Mr. Smith’s team that they are not in school and had no intentions of getting back in school. This is problematic. Youth crime and violence builds it’s origins in Minneapolis from youth that are not in school and their parents who are for the most part not reached by public school outreach or engagement. Many of the youth and their parents are from Chicago, Omaha, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, and Jackson. Sometimes people bring their behavior and issues with them from other states.
It would be in Minneapolis’ best interest to connect with Mr. Smith and initiate an outreach system more intentional than Minneapolis Public Schools “We want you back” program which is nothing more than words said at a distance with little to no community engagement.
Then to address the older youth challenges, hire Spike Moss, Al Flowers, Reverend Jerry McAfee, Ron Edwards, James Faircloth and a handful of support staff as community liaisons headquartered on West Broadway Avenue with hubs located on Lowry and Penn Avenues.
The primary mission of Drop Outs to Drop Ins and the Community Youth Task Force (CYTF) would be to identify, engage and direct troubled youth they encounter to services like school, treatment, housing needs and parent/community interventions if needed.
In Minneapolis, it could be an easy fix over an 18-month period.