New Haven is partnering with CT Against Gun Violence (CAGV) to curb violence in the city.
The nonprofit will engage community members and guide the city’s newly created Office of Violence Prevention.
CAGV says it will be hosting community listening sessions soon to discuss ways to prevent gun violence, specifically preventing it, intervening, and focusing on the after-effects too.
The announcement was made at the Botanical Garden of Healing in the Elm City Friday.
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There, bricks memorialize New Haven lives lost from gun violence.
“It’s sad. My heart goes out to all of these moms,” said Pamela Jaynez, who doesn’t want to keep adding names to a pathway she helped create.
“Ten more bricks are being laid tomorrow and those are not even for September and October. We’re going back to June and July that those are being laid for.”
Jaynez took NBC Connecticut to see her son’s brick.
Walter Jaynes Sr. would have turned 44 in June. He was killed in 1997.
“He’s been gone now longer than he lived…It was six days before his 20th birthday when he was murdered.”
The mourning mother hopes New Haven’s collaboration with CAGV will make an impact, a step she believes is in the right direction to stop this growing path of deadly gun violence.
“I had no idea going to these funerals, that one day I’d be one of those parents in the front row,” said Thomas Daniels, who walks the same past as Jaynez.
His son Thomas was killed in 2009.
“These young murderers don’t know the effect they have on families, and the long-term effects, because the last two or three years I just started living life. Just started living life,” said Daniels, who created the group Fathers Cry Too to help others experiencing what he has.
While New Haven looks for creative ways to curb the violence, Daniels hopes all Connecticut communities step up to make a difference.
“It’s no longer Black-on-Black crime. Gun violence is everywhere. Death knows no boundaries.”
A push for change - one Jaynez says she’ll never stop doing as her son watches over her.
“Every time I come here and I start talking about my son, the chimes (start ringing) and I know he’s like, ‘Yes, mom, yes.’”