Community putting action plan together to stop violence and save the youth
BATON ROUGE - Thursday night dozens of community members of all ages sat together at the Jehovah Jireh Christian Academy discussing solutions to stop the violence.
“What is it going to take to save our youth? What is it going to take for our young people to not go through what we've been going through,” said Trey Gradnigo, the event organizer.
The discussion was organized after a toddler along with two others were killed in a senseless shooting on Memorial Day at an apartment pool.
“A 2-year-old was killed that was not in a crack house, that was not where she shouldn't have been or with a dangerous person. She was in a pool with her parents,” said Gradnigo.
This prompted community members to step up and take matters into their own hands.
"We need to handle issues from the bottom up and not the top down. It's not the police's job to come up with the solutions. It's the job of the police, the elected politicians and officials to be able to enforce what we want to be done,” said Gradnigo.
Included in the effort is 16-year-old Brennen Johnson. He is just one year older than two of the suspects arrested on Memorial day.
“It makes me feel like, will I be next? Who will be next? Will one of my people be next, how will this go,” said Johnson.
Brennen sees the importance of his actions in his everyday life hoping he’ll influence those around him positively.
“I have friends that would probably get in trouble if I don't stop them and I'll lose them so I'm trying to be that leader,” said Johnson.
Alongside him, his parents and teachers with the same goal in mind.
“I want to see us being very tenacious and diligent and after tonight I want to see these ideas come off the paper and become a reality,” said Chantell Ricks, a parent that attended.
The next step is to take those ideas and plans to local leaders, to discuss how they can put them in place. Trey says they will have more community things to come.
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