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How are Cincinnati communities addressing youth violence?

Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac
Posted at 4:13 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 21:56:32-04

A Sunday night shooting that took the lives of a 16-year-old and 19-year-old — and injured three other teenage children — was just the latest in a weeks-long string of shootings involving young people in Cincinnati. Children as young as 6 years old have suffered injuries from gun-related incidents since the summer began.

Bishop Ennis Tait, a longtime community organizer, said his ministry group is part of the Positive Force Collaborative, which focuses on critical social issues, including youth violence.

"We have to stop assuming that these young people are going to put these guns down because we say so," Tate said.

READ MORE: Police chief responds to 5-person shooting at Smale Park

He went on to echo other officials' statements Monday: Police action might not be enough.

"Arresting (people) is not going to be the only solution," he said. "It has to be relational. We have to dig deep into our communities and find those individuals who are willing to build relationships with young people and constantly talk with them about options (to violence)."

Cincinnati police Chief Elliot Isaac indicated during a news conference Monday afternoon that the two young men who died had been involved in an argument before pulling their weapons and firing on each other. The other children injured were caught in the crossfire.

Tate said there might be more work to do to understand what children are going through these days.

"I think the root of the shootings is anger, and it's anger that's not developed in the streets," he said. "It's anger that develops in our homes. Our young people are dealing with more than we know."