Miami-Dade wants people to put down their guns during spring break
MIAMI - A 24-hour crease fire campaign in Miami-Dade is drawing support from community activists, the Miami-Dade Mayor and Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez.
It is the 5th year of the cease fire campaign since the first one in 2017 and it is aimed at rallying the Miami-Dade community together and urging people to refrain from gunfire.
It is also aimed at raising awareness. Activists say they would like to see a cease fire every day of the year but realize that may not be realistic.
It runs from 7 p.m. tonight to 7 p.m. Saturday.
There will be a free Hip Hop Festival at Nathanial TRAZ Powell Stadium at 11380 N.W. 27th Ave. from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday at a People Matter Festival.
Radio personality and community activist "Papa Keith" Walcott said "We wanted to show that hip hop can do good for the community. This weekend we want to come together and squash all beefs and talk things out instead of resorting to violence."
This happens as crowds gather for spring break on beaches from South Beach to Fort Lauderdale Beach and as Miami-Dade Police coincidentally probe a shooting in N.W. Miami-Dade that left two men in critical condition.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "We must end this path to violence in our community that has been causing too many families too much pain."
"Our police department has taken 2,000 guns off the street and we made a 20-year investment for peace and prosperity in a plan to invest in our young people to put them on the right path for jobs that pay real wages, mostly in our parks."
Community activist Romania Dukes, whose 18-year-old De-Michael Dukes lost his life on July 21st of 2014 when he was hit by a stray bullet, also spoke out. She said "I lost my son and he was 10 steps away from me. He died in my arms just like I gave birth to him. I will never forget. This Cease Fire is so important because we are losing too many kids in our community every day, every other day."
Ramirez delivered some strong words.
He said "I would like to see a cease-fire forever. I am tired of seeing petty beefs being solved in the streets with firearms. I am tired of my officers being shot at. We are better than that, If you look at last year our crime was down. We are not going to go backward. This is our recipe to do it. Not just police but everybody. It is all hands on deck in the community."
He had a message for parents.
"This starts at home with the parents," he said. "That's where it all starts. You can talk about violence in the schools, in the streets but it starts at home. Parents need to start parenting and need to hold themselves accountable."
Lyle Muhammad of the Circle of Brotherhood said "Violence does start in the home and we need to squash the needs in the home. People have to exude an energy of peace."
Community activist H.T. Smith said "We want to have 365 days of no gun violence and to do that we have to give young people something to do. We must provide positive programs for young people."
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