Thousands Of Middle School Students March With Police To End Gun Violence In Miami
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than 300 police officers and 1,000 middle school boys held signs that read “stop the murders” as they marched along with Miami Central Senior High School’s band.
The march was part of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence ProjectAnnual Police and Youth Conference.
“I see hope for the future,” said Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.
Wilson founded the project 20 years ago. She said mentoring programs like this are needed now more than ever.
“We all know that there is a tension between young boys of color and police officers, so we have these conferences to ease that tension,” she said.
Skymeter Roberts knows the tragedy of gun violence all too well. It’s why she stands behind the project wholeheartedly.
“It’s been two years since we lost Keimouria Gardner to senseless violence,” Roberts said. “To have the young to bring awareness, it is very emotional.”
City of Miami Assistant Police Chief Dennis Jackson agrees.
“It’s awesome to see all these young men together with law enforcement just communicating and talking,” he said.
Jackson said some of the young boys don’t really know how to interact with police – something one young middle schooler now understands.
“I learned that police officers, they’re not just people who take care of us, they want to show us that we don’t have to be people on the streets doing violent things,” said Xavier Mackein, who attends Norland Middle School. “We can be someone that teaches the next generation.”
The “End The Gun Violence March” ended with unveiling of a brand new banner.
The program brings students from 103 schools within Miami-Dade County Public Schools, law enforcement throughout Miami-Dade counties and the mothers of murdered children.