I wanted to write about other things, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the cries I hear from the streets of my City. I like most, are watching what’s happening in America from FB and the News Stations, which is super confusing. It hits home when you see it in real life and that is why I’m writing about this, Gun Violence… I see the pain, I see the hurt, I hear the pleas and the cries. I hear you loud and clear St. Joseph County!

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It started for me the second week of July. I started hearing guns going off at night, most of them being Saturday night into Sunday Morning. Some may have said they heard fireworks, I can say I heard and know differently. I also started talking to neighbors about certain people coming and going, vehicles that were becoming torn up, and people hiding. I have son and when things get close to home, I become a Momma Bear. It’s not that I was ignoring the gun violence around the world, but sometimes we turn the other cheek if it doesn’t pertain to us. I had my cheek turned to America and I admit that, until it hit home and right smack in my face.

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I was hit with the reality that gun violence was surrounding me at the worst time in America. The police are ALL being considered bad and no one wants to snitch on someone. That’s got to stop!! With every good person there will be a bad one, this is pretty obvious on any spectrum. When the St. Joseph County Police made a live stream press conference asking for help, I sat and listened. They announce that eighty some shots were fired one particular Sunday morning and only three people were hits. I know exactly how I worded that “Only”. But that “Only” meant that there were stray bullets in homes and on the streets that could potentially hurt an innocent bystander. I knew I had to do something because I had information. So I decided to take a huge step, I decided to do my Civic Duty. Yes, you heard me! I’m doing my civic duty as an American and a Humanitarian, to help my fellow citizens stop the gun violence on our streets. I became a help to the police and to the streets. I started looking after the children, talking with the young adults in my neighborhood, and asking questions to find the answers. What I found was confusion and pain. Pain being the predominant factor and misunderstanding of life being the second.

A great reminder for life

What hurt the most for me is when I knew I did my job and not less than a month later an innocent child was killed by a drive-by shooting. Her beautiful name is Chrisyah Stephens and all she was doing was being a happy child at a birthday party. I fell apart that day, I called my people and I asked if anything I was doing was helping. Of course I found out I was actually helping a few Police Departments for my community, but it didn’t save that little girls life.

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I watch my neighborhood clear out every weekend and they all back in their cars on Sunday morning. No one wants their plates shown. I’m not paid to police but it is my civic duty to help when I know I can. I am disgusted that even after that poor child died, not a soul came forward. Money is even being offered for the arrest and that hasn’t helped yet. I still pray every night someone will come forward with information, just like I did in other incidents.

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Am I scared of the repercussions of working with my community Police Officers? No, I was held at gun point many moons ago, death doesn’t scare me. Loosing my child scares me more than anything. When bullets get closer to home, I protect not just my family but others. And I don’t mean with a gun, kindness and understanding goes along way. I know fear and I have faced it many times head on, literally a gun to the back of my head. I wish I could say that didn’t really happen, but it did. And I replay it more these days in my head because the gun violence is outrageous, it takes aim at my PTSD. Fight or Flight mode comes out naturally and for the last two months, I have secretly been fighting for it to stop. It’s not in my head it’s real life and I want more people to stand up with me, to help protect Our City that is Crying in Pain.

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We don’t need and eye for an eye, we need voices that are willing to speak up about what they see. We must be done with the old ways of not snitching, and we must must speak up to save more innocent lives. One life lost is too many for me and our community is at a high in gun violence. We must embrace the fact that America is in pain, but we must move on in Love. If we want to put an end to this, it’s starts in each one of our souls. We must stop turning our cheek to this. So many conflicts of interests but can’t we agree on one thing?! Gun Violence is at an extreme and we must put an end to it! If you want to help there are resources and you don’t have to be known.

One of the commercials that was stuck in head when I was a kid was Crime Stoppers and it’s still around. So if you don’t want to be involved with police it’s the other best option. We need to lay our heads down at night and not wake up to another death in our city due to guns. If any information leads to an arrest you do get money! Who doesn’t need money right now and your saving a life? Help your Community out and SAVE a innocent person!

Crime Stoppers can help you at 1-800-342-STOP or http://southbend.crimestoppersweb.com/sitemenu.aspx?ID=203&

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