MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Gardens city leaders, officers and residents gathered Monday night for a town hall meeting to promote “Peace in the Gardens.”
The event at the Upper Room Ministries church sponsored by the South Florida Chapter of the National Action Network happened less than two weeks after the death of a 12-year-old girl in the city.
Tequila Forshee’s family was in attendance. The girl was gunned down in a drive by shooting as her hair was braided inside her grandmother’s Miami Gardens home on August 14th.
Glenn Forshee said his mission to find his daughter’s killer is fueled by the memory of her strength.
“I asked God to leave me with that toughness so I can make it through that,” Forshee told CBS 4′s Lauren Pastrana. “So far, I’ve found the strength.”
Earlier Monday, the Forshees went door to door, handing out flyers with Tequila’s picture.
The reward for information leading to an arrest stands at $30,000.
But even with the added incentive, clues have been hard to come by.
“It could be your family,” Mayor Oliver Gilbert said at a press conference Monday. “If we don’t take a stand and turn them in, it will be another family.”
Police Chief Matthew Boyd said he is fed up with the “apathy” in his city.
“I’m tired of it. I’m tired of people sitting back and complaining. Get involved. Do something,” Chief Boyd said. “We can put a cop on every corner. The way these savages are acting, it is crazy. Something needs to be done.”
Walter Ramsey said he’s not afraid to speak up
“I think that when you don’t snitch, or if you don’t say nothing, then you’re hurting the whole community,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey said he lost a child to a drunk driver twenty years ago. He said a tip eventually led to the perpetrator.
A familiar face fired up the crowd at Monday’s meeting.
Jo Marie Payton, an actress and South Florida native, incited cheers from the audience.
“This is the time we should get up, not give up,” she told Pastrana. “Turn them in! We just gotta turn them in!”
Police said they looking for four teens spotted riding bicycles near the home where Tequila Forshee was shot.
If any arrests are made, Glenn Forshee says it won’t be the last we hear from him.
He plans to make it his mission to make sure other families don’t experience his same pain.
“Anything I can do to make a change in the community, I’m here to do that,” he explained.
A peace march is planned for September 14th at 8:15 a.m. beginning at the corner of NW 183 Street and NW 27 Avenue in Miami Gardens.
If you have any information about the death of 12-year-old Tequila Forshee, or any other crime, call Crime stoppers 305-471-TIPS.
You can remain anonymous.