A clarion call to end Fayetteville's youth violence
Posted July 8, 2014
Fayetteville, N.C. — Ravon Detrail Jordan, 19, spoke out against violence.
But instead of attending Fayetteville State University this fall, his death - a result of gunshot wounds from a gang shootout - has fueled anger in a city that has become associated with violence.
Jordan’s mother, Felicia, has had enough.
“That rage (over her son's death) has turned into a rage that just wants justice,” she said. “I deserve justice.”
Felicia Jordan expressed sadness and frustration while speaking in front of hundreds of people during a rally outside the Cumberland County Courthouse on Tuesday. Residents, politicians and other public officials gathered to call for an end to what has become a familiar occurrence in Fayetteville.
An occurrence that has been heartbreaking for Felicia Jordan and Clotilda Barnes.
Barnes’ 18-year-old daughter, Shaniqua Simmons, and her boyfriend, Jacoy Nathan Mahorn, 29, were found dead inside a Barrington Place apartment on May 1. It was the second double-homicide of the year at the troubled apartment complex, formerly known as Cambridge Arms.
Barnes attended Tuesday’s rally but did not speak.
Nearly two weeks later, Ravon Jordan spoke in favor of closing the complex during a May 12 city council meeting.
Ravon Jordan and Shaniqua Simmons were best friends.
On June 23, Ravon Jordan was at a house party on Grandview Drive when more than 70 bullets were fired between two rival gangs.
Ravon Jordan was shot in the head. He died the next day. Investigators don’t believe his speaking out against the complex led to his killing.
Fayetteville police Chief Harold Medlock spoke about the city’s youth violence problem in long, weary pauses during Tuesday's rally, highlighting a triple-shooting from over the weekend.
“One of them died, two of them were injured, and not one of them was over 21-years-old,” he said.
Daniel Cortez Morrison, 21, was pronounced dead at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center on July 5 after he was dropped off at the hospital with gunshot wounds.
Out of Fayetteville’s 34 homicides since the beginning of 2013, 17 of those charged are between ages 14 and 26, as noted in the Fayetteville Observer’s Seeking Safety series.
In January, a group of five males, ages 14 to 24, were each charged with murder in connection with a January 20 double-homicide inside a Barrington Place apartment.
“Today, the jail is full of mostly young, violent people,” Cumberland County Sheriff Earl Butler said during a March roundtable discussion about Fayetteville crime.
Stemming that tide, said Rep. Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland, requires parents to know what their children are doing.
"Parents, do you know what your children are doing,” he asked during the rally. “Do you monitor their cell phones? Do you know about their collective tweets?"
Another solution came from a promise by Medlock.
"If you know someone, especially a child, who is carrying an illegal firearm, you call us, and we'll come and get it,” the police chief said. ”No questions asked."