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Cincinnati gun violence victims want more support after Safer Communities Act signing

OTR shooting Cincinnati Police
Posted at 9:25 PM, Jul 11, 2022

CINCINNATI — Local shooting survivors and families of homicide victims want more support than the new Safer Communities Act offers.

The back of Ms. Gibson's SUV is a memorial. Of the six rear windshield decals honoring loved ones lost in recent years, three died by gunfire. The homicides of her daughter Victoria, grandson Darius and great-nephew Damontae remain unsolved. Key witnesses refuse to speak up, she said.

That is one problem she wants solved more than the beefed-up red flag laws, better background checks and gun trafficking crackdowns coming from the new gun legislation Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval and other activists celebrated with President Joe Biden at the White House Monday.

"Here it is, my life has been turned upside down," said shooting survivor Renay Jackson. "I'm traumatized. I"m not sleeping. I'm barely eating."

Police said Jackson was an innocent bystander to a shooting in the West End earlier this year. Surveillance video showed a stranger in a car open fire. One bullet shattered Jackson's knee. Worse is the impact on her life, she said.

"Until they're caught, there is no hope," Jackson said.

Witnesses refuse to talk with police. Some suggested they would get revenge on their own.

"Baby don't do it," Jackson said. "I don't want anybody coming and retaliating on me or thinking I sent somebody out to retaliate. I don't, because I don't have people like that. It's time to stop."

Jackson said she believes the culture of silence is denying her justice and keeping her attacker from facing consequences. Meanwhile, she lives in fear with no programs currently helping her move to someplace safer.

So, while she and Gibson embrace the new law, without more support for survivors or ways to create more witness cooperation with authorities they see little relief for their families.

"Basically, I'm a prisoner in my own home," said Jackson. "It's not safe around here. I went through gunshots and all this for three summers in a row. Enough is enough."

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Cincinnati mother hopes to sway silent witnesses 30 years after son's murder