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'CRUSHED HEARTS'

Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.
It is possible that there was never such a heart wrenching wail heard from a...
'CRUSHED HEARTS'

Porter, 13, added, "The kids who might know something should let us know and help his family and the rest of us get more closure on it." His brother, Jalil Porter, 11, said, "I feel bad. Whoever did it, they should come clean. Hopefully, something will happen." Councilman Charles Barron, who spoke briefly in the church, told the AmNews, "We need more jobs [and] recreation centers, because every time this happens, we get new gun legislation, but these kids aren't afraid of no gun legislation. We need more resources."

Riley, an attorney with the Department of Juvenile Justice, told the paper, "I was totally dismayed when my godchildren [Kiandre and Jalil] told me about the shooting. We do need new gun legislation put in place, but we also need to reach out to the children and address their issues. Right here in Harlem, we have one of the highest unemployment rates among the youth. They just passed the budget for youth employment for the summer. But what about employment for all year round? Where are our community centers? We have jails in our communities, but we don't have youth centers in our communities.

"Our children need a place to go. They need to know that we love them. They shouldn't feel love and support from gangs. They shouldn't feel that the only way they are going to get attention is by 'g-ing' up and firing a gun at a barbecue." Riley, who is also an attorney with the National Action Network, continued, "A barbecue is where you go to gather with loved ones and get food and drink, not to be dodging bullets. This is senseless. A mother shouldn't have to be burying her son. Children bury parents; parents don't bury children. Enough of this talk. We need effective action. We need change. We need answers. We need solutions. Our children are dying in record numbers. There is something grossly wrong, and it needs to change."

Foye emphasized that the person who shot his son "isn't a gangster. He is a coward, and he should be dealt with accordingly. I want to work with any politician to get a bill passed pertaining to reckless shooting. These people should be held accountable for their actions. We need to check ourselves and get rid of our own garbage. Like every other neighborhood, we have good and bad. We have to

make things better because Harlem is a decent place."