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Gun violence activists react to federal charges levied against 21 people for gun-related charges

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Posted at 10:37 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 10:33:19-05

CINCINNATI — Twenty-one people faced federal charges related to guns Monday, U.S. Attorney David DeVillers announced, as part of a federal and regional effort to reduce a year-long surge in violent crime.

Anti-gun violence advocates said those arrests might make the streets safer, but it’s disheartening that so many young people wind up going down a violent path. They walked the streets of Avondale Monday evening trying to steer more young people in the right direction.

“As you know, we’re out here working right now – (to) possibly save somebody's child from getting shot and killed,” activist Mitch Morris said.

Currently, Cincinnati remains on track to break its homicide record. That’s why Morris and fellow anti-violence advocates walked a familiar route toward a safer Cincinnati.

“You just don’t want to see anybody get in trouble with these guns,” Morris said.

Monday’s arrests are the second wave in recent months. In late September, DeVillers indicted 16 men on federal charges related to gun violence.

“We’re just out here trying to stay in the fight and touch somebody, try to show them something different,” Morris said.

He’s been involved in this type of work for close to three decades.

“You’ve got kids 14 years old, 12 years old, that get caught up with guns,” Morris said. “That’s an emergency.”

He said the lifelong impact of serious gun charges – which could result in up to 10 years in federal prison – are devastating to young people.

“I’m so tired of seeing our young folks going to the penitentiary and going to the graveyard,” Morris said. “It’s a 911 call for everybody right now.”

Morris and his team plan to be available to answer that call for years to come.

“We’re just out here trying to stay in the fight and touch somebody, he said.”

Federal agents are still searching for 42-year-old Orlando Crawford. Anyone with information on Crawford's location is asked to call the ATF tip line at 1-888-ATF-TIPS.