MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – The NAACP hosted a forum in Miami Gardens Thursday night addressing guns, crime, and solving the problems plaguing South Florida’s communities.

“I’m concerned about the increasing crime level that has gotten completely out of proportion. Something has to be done,” said Debbi Bragg, a Miami Gardens Resident.

“It’s going to  take community involvement, all hands on deck, every aspect of the community.  The elected officials, law enforcement, citizens of the community, business owners they’re all going to have to work collaboratively to address this crime problem,” said Robert Parker, the Former Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

“We have to really look at what is happening we can’t sugarcoat this,” added the former mayor of Miami Gardens, Shirley Gibson.

In the past year, gun violence has claimed young lives like Tequila Forshee who was shot in the head as her grandmother braided her hair.

Aaron Vu was shot and killed during a robbery of his parents’ nail salon.

Three girls were shot in Liberty City earlier in the week and the youngest was just 10-years-old.

They will recover, but likely won’t be the same as they were before the shooting.

“I just feel scared like frightened for my life,” said “Shawnteria”, a 15-year-old with a bullet lodged in her wrist.

“I feel like it’s wrong what they did,” “Shawnteria” added.  “I feel like they’re wrong in what they did, it don’t make no sense because we’re only but kids and why would they come shoot at us.”

Some people who attended the forum said reaching young people will make the biggest difference in stopping gun violence.

“I am hopeful, I am hopeful and I think there is a lot that can be done especially if we start dealing with our children and dealing with some very innovative youth programs that can get some results because I think a lot of it begins with our young people and turning them around at the right time,” said Bragg.


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