Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Journey against Violence Hasn't Ended

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Journey against Violence Hasn't Ended

Article excerpt

Byline: Tonyaa Weathersbee

It seems that Jacksonville is looking less like the "Bold New City of the South," the moniker coined by consolidation leaders.

It's looking something like, "The Sunshine State's Bloodiest City."

No one should want to see that nickname stick.

But according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Duval County's murder rate was 8.79 per 100,000 residents last year.

It edged out Miami-Dade County, which had an 8.66 murder rate per 100,000 people - and topped all the counties with 500,000 or more residents.

Keep in mind that Jacksonville's per capita murder rate has ranked as the highest, or second highest in Florida for the past 22 years.


Jacksonville doesn't just lead the state in people who get killed. It also leads the state in people who are hurt or maimed by violence.

According to the FDLE, guns are more likely to be used in crimes here, people are more likely to be sexually assaulted here and domestic violence is more likely to happen here than in any other Florida county.

All of which tells me this city not only has a problem with violent crime. It also has a problem with indifference - and a continued reliance on approaches that deal with the effect and not the cause.

That must change.

I know it can change because back in 2006, not long after 8-year-old DreShawna Davis was killed when Rasheem DuBose and his brothers Tajuane and Terrell sprayed her grandmother's house with bullets as she was watching a Dr. Seuss cartoon, city leaders began to view murder as something that didn't just happen to thugs but to innocents as well.

Under the leadership of former Mayor John Peyton and with DreShawna's face as a reminder, many began to see violence as a problem that had to be stamped out at the root and not just reacted to. …

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