A call to action from students, joined by several members of Jersey City’s City Council, who all say they are fed up with gun violence and what they describe as “pick and choose” decisions in the media that dictate what high profile, shootings – in downtown, for example - make headlines, while others are ignored.
“We’re here, we’re rallying together because of a shooting at newport mall. Ya see, the problem that we have, is when we talk about investing in our children, too often we’re not talking about the children on the south side of jersey city,” said Jersey City student leader Mussab Ali.
“At 17, no one should know what a gunshot would feels like. We have a duty as a community to make the streets we want, gun safe, and protect our youth,” said Isabel Vintimilla of Students Demand Action.
Police say they are looking for the suspect, Ahmad Broadway, in Friday night’s double shooting inside Newport Centre mall, in which one man was shot in the stomach – another in the arm.
Police have not ruled out a gang or crew connection in the shooting.
“In the last four months, four of our kids were shot and killed on the streets of Jersey City, and it’s an absolute shame. This is not just a gun safety issue, this is a socio-economic situation, problem,” said Jersey City School Board President Sudhan Thomas.
City Councilman James Solomon represents downtown where Friday’s shooting occurred.
“Improve social services for folks who are struggling. Families who might have experienced trauma, so that if kids are struggling, or if they feel some kind of appeal toward gang life, that we have enough hands in our society, and programs, to pull them away from that path,” said Solomon.
In their continued effort to shift the discussion in how to address gun violence, it’s a testament to the student’s influence that they were able to attract several members of city council to their rally.