Fort Worth Group to Fight Violent Crime 100 Days at a Time | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Fort Worth Group to Fight Violent Crime 100 Days at a Time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Monday kicked off the "no shots fired" campaign in Fort Worth. It begins with Juneteenth neighborhood cleanup event on the street where a mass shooting on June 9 that left two dead and five wounded. The community is fighting to rid the city of crime and violence.

    (Published Monday, June 19, 2017)

    Violent crime is becoming more common around Fort Worth. Recently released crime statistics show that murder is up 69 percent from a year ago.

    One local group sees this as a challenge, so they are devising a plan to tackle violence 100 days at a time. The "No Shots Fired" campaign began Monday morning on East Davis Avenue, feet away from the place where someone shot seven people, killing two.

    "If we're really going to be serious about true liberation in our community, we are going to have a tie to education and economics," said the Rev. Kyev Tatum. "We've been beaten down for so long."

    In certain corners of the country, something as simple as hope is not guaranteed. It's something communities really have to work for.

    Southside residents and teenagers from around the city rolled up their sleeves to clean up the block near that deadly mass shooting. It was their way to work for hope.

    "We clean up what we messed up. We start over," Tatum said. "The challenge is to stop the violence and the way we stop the violence is by engaging in positive activity."

    Neighbors from the block were drawn to the activity and quickly started pitching in.

    "[We are] trying to take a bad situation and turn it into a positive outcome," Tatum said.

    "We stand between the gangs and the guns and help to make the community safer," volunteer Johnny Muhammad said. "Let's talk about it. We don't have to shoot about it."

    There is no coincidence that the campaign began on Juneteenth, the celebration of the announcement of the end of slavery in Texas.

    "How do we start to set up our own freedom, and that starts with the mindset," Muhammad said.

    Community leaders said that change in mindset starts with the area youth, like 14-year-old Christian Gray.

    "People like too much violence. People don't want to put [guns] down," Gray said. "People got grudges against other people. People want to kill other people. It's crazy."

    They said there's a new slavery, but the chains have changed. Communities are now shackled by drugs, poverty and violence.

    "When you don't create hope, you rely on other things to cope," Tatum said.

    After the first 100 days, group leaders will look at what worked and what didn't. They will see if they made an difference in the violence. Leaders will then start working on the next 100 days; set to begin on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2018.

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