Two young people with their whole lives ahead of them – and a lot of potential – were murdered earlier this week because they were in the wrong place at the wrong…
No, hell no. They were in the right place at the right time doing what people in this city do on a warm summer evening … having fun. It was the criminals who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and doing the wrong thing by cowardly hiding behind the power of their guns to settle some stupid score or whatever.
Now, two young people are dead – a 14-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her and a 23-year-old man who just finished university and had his eyes set on a career in policing, according to some media reports.
Now, two more families, together with friends and other loved ones, have joined the growing list of those grieving for murdered sons and daughters in our city.
Apart from the two who were killed, as many as 23 others have been wounded, including a small child.
In their grief and anger, area residents are blaming the police for not doing more to stem the violence; the government for not providing the services they feel will help to keep the youth off the streets or cutting back on services already in place; and the shooters – who might belong to gangs – for their destructive behaviour.
Police Chief Bill Blair seemed shocked at the carnage on Monday night. He said this was the worst incident of gun violence in the city’s recent history. Actually, he also said it was the worse in all of North America, but we will let that pass. Not even close.
Then, as usual, the police called on the public for information. Blair himself is quoted as saying that people should come forward if they care about their neighbourhoods.
While we hope members of the public who know something do come forward, and encourage them to do so – or at least call CrimeStoppers – little good that plea has done in the past.
We hope that the cops have more than that to go on in this case.
And, Chief, people don’t hesitate to come forward because they don’t care for their neighbourhoods, it is because many of them are afraid of these punks.
It is a cop out to just wait on witnesses to come forward. The same way the cops pulled out all the stops to find those responsible for the shooting of Jane Creba, for example, is the same way they need to go after those responsible for other killings, regardless of who the victims are. There are too many yet unsolved cases of murdered Black people where the cops are still waiting for someone to come forward.
On the other hand, we have seen how the police handle cases where the victims have been White. Especially when the politicians and the media, not to mention the good citizens of this city, get on their case and demand action. They end up with arrests.
We do have a serious problem with gangs and guns in this city, never mind what the mayor, the police chief and others may be saying. And people are getting killed and maimed.
On the other side of this is the need for the politicians to provide more assistance to youth in areas that are being challenged by gang violence. It has been proven that programs to get the kids off the streets and into productive endeavours do work.
The mayor – who is well-known for voting against programs to help the disadvantaged – is right in one thing and that is when he says that the best social program is a job. But where are the jobs? And, where is the training for the youth so that they can find and hold on to those jobs?
Rob Ford has also been quoted as saying: “We will not rest until being a gang member is a miserable, undesirable life.”
Newsflash, Mayor, being a gang member already is a miserable life. And that is because politicians like you continue to neglect the youth with your reckless policies regarding the disadvantaged.
We need the police to do their job of ridding our neighbourhoods of these criminals. And, protecting themselves as much as possible, we urge the good people in these neighbourhoods to help them. But we also need the politicians to do their part in helping the youth before they turn to a life of crime.