By Roger Caldwell
Almost every day in Orlando, and in Black neighborhoods across our country, our youth are fighting each other, and it makes no-sense. This fighting has reached epidemic proportions, when gangs of youth go into someone’s house and continue to fight. Principles, morals, and respect no longer exist in these teen’s thinking and they are behaving like heathens.
Who or what is to blame for these actions? When gangs of youth go into someone’s house and ram shacked items in the house, the entire neighborhood is no longer safe. The notion that middle school students are so angry to continue a fight in a home owned by an adult is inconceivable.
The incident that I am referring to in Orlando happened on January 27, 2020. “Ms. Reshema Jelks left home for 20 minutes to pick up food for her family. When she returned to her Malibu Groves home, six windows were smashed, the front door splintered and her 15-year old son was unconscious outside,” says Ryan Gillespie – reporter of the Orlando Sentinel.
Two teens were arrested on felony home invasion and battery charges, according to Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolon, when a shocking video was discovered. The video posted on social media showed dozens of teens rushing the home, kicked in the door, and others came through the windows. This invasion was organized and planned, with the television busted, holes in the wall, and everything in the refrigerator broken on the floors.
This appears to be gang activity, where the violence is coordinated, and the teens in the community know who the members and the leaders of these gangs are. During the same week a Carver Middle School student was attacked on the James Smith Neighborhood Center basketball court. There were four teens who asked the 14 year old where he was from. The 14 year old did not answer, so the four hit him from behind, knocked him down and repeatedly kicked and punched him.
An Orlando Police Department spokesman stated that four teens were arrested concerning this incident. It is obvious that many of these youth have lost their way, and these incidents have sparked fear and a concern for safety. In neighborhoods such as Malibu Groves, Carver Shores, and Richmond Heights, the residents need a plan to eliminate these problems and violence.
All around the country in urban cities, such as Detroit, Birmingham, Dallas, New York, LA, gangs are marking their territories, and they are looking for new recruits. Some of these young men and woman are 12, and 13, and the gang is their family.
The violence is territorial based, and often is race and gender based. As gangs mark their turf some of the violence is based on social media insults, and Facebook posts. The older gangs are buying guns, selling drugs, stealing cars, prostitution, and petty robbery.
Youth gangs and violence is a lifestyle, a way of life, and they have learnt how to fight by watching their parents. Many Black women who live in the same neighborhood will fight each other over drugs or the same man. This behavior is sick, but members in the neighborhood will post the incidents on Facebook.
Fighting is a solution or a way to resolve a problem in the Black community. As the individuals get older guns become the accepted way to solve problems, and that is why there are so many guns in the Black community.
On Monday, February 10th, at the Dr. James R. Smith Center, Commissioner Burns, District 6, Commissioner Hill, District 5, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon, and representatives from youth organization held a community meeting. At this meeting there were over 100 concerned residents, and many options were discussed, with recent middle school students fights addressed.
It takes a village to protect these neighborhoods and Neighborhood Watch groups can change a community, when they see criminal activity. Home invasion, gang activity, selling drugs, and gangs of students fighting is a criminal activity, and must be reported to the police.