The Miami-Dade state's attorney revealed some recent crime data to the public last week, and the results were not encouraging. According to the data, unsolved criminal cases are piling up and few convictions are being reached. In light of the findings, many are claiming that the numbers are a result of a deep-seated mistrust of local law enforcement by local, at-risk neighborhoods.
As reported by The Miami Times, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle presented the data at a recent news conference. To illustrate her findings, she focused on shooting crime statistics:
- In 2012, there were 129 shootings and 23 cases filed.
- In 2013, there were 136 shootings and 24 cases filed.
- In 2014, there were 152 shootings and only 15 total arrests.
Fernandez Rundle is convinced that these troubling numbers are due to a lack of cooperation between the public and law enforcement. "What that means is witnesses are not naming names," she said at the conference. "They know who the shooters are, but for whatever reason, fear or something else, they keep silent. There can be no arrests unless perpetrators are identified."
She was not alone in her assertions. "To remain silent is just as bad as being a perpetrator. We need a collective, cohesive, collaborative effort to make this work," said Pastor Richard P. Dunn II of Community Missionary Baptist Church in Liberty City, also in attendance.
A Focused, Community Effort
Several other pastors in attendance were there to announce a new community initiative to counter the dangerous wall of silence between these neighborhoods and police. Called "State of Urgency To Save Our Community," the program was created by Reverend Carl Johnson, who called the press conference after recently hosting the funerals of several young men who were gunned down.
The program will include neighborhood prayer vigils, community outreach, and support from Northside Jobs and the Neighbor and Neighbors Association to help local unemployed support themselves. At the conference Fernandez Rundle and members of local law enforcement supported the plan: "This is exactly what the community needs. It's practical. It's sustainable. We need this kind of leadership at this level, bringing together pastors and policemen with the community," she stated.
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