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A clarion call to end Fayetteville's youth violence

Posted July 8, 2014

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— 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."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ohbumr Jul 9, 2014

    good job on the protesting the violence, but it starts at home with the parents. i dont go around shooting at people because my parents taught me that it was wrong to murder. if you arent mentally competent enough to have a child, then dont. in my opinion, an unfit parent is just as dangerous as criminals having guns.

  • Confucius say Jul 9, 2014

    “Today, the jail is full of mostly young, violent people,”

    There's another common, no...overwhelming, factor...race.

  • Derric Fuller Jul 9, 2014
    user avatar

    If the communities that are most affected by the violence are indeed serious, then the lip service NEEDS TO STOP. Too many neighborhoods where the gunfire is the worst are the same areas where there are more children having children. Too many out-of-wedlock births to very young women with young absentee fathers. Mentorship by responsible adult male role models are very low in said communities where this is happening. The only mentorships these children have growing up are, unfortunately, these gangs. They see it as a glamorous "family", a bunch of friends who always have their back. You get a bunch of young men being led by other young men who think that being a man is having a gun and who have little care for their fellow man. It's a vicious circle of the blind leading the blind. The place to start is AT HOME. Children need to see another way besides the street. Parents need to be more accountable in their child's life other than just sending them to school or watching TV.

  • Derric Fuller Jul 9, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Being of a particular race isn't the predominant factor in whether or not a person will end up in a jail. It's lazy to say and too easy a cop-out.

    Socioeconomic factors are, and has always been the biggest culprit. Bolstering education, stop dependence on government handouts as a way of life or looking for other (legal) ways to boost one's economic status would help greatly.

  • Itsmyopinion67 Jul 9, 2014

    Yeah...this should work.....

  • Dorothy Davis Jul 9, 2014
    user avatar

    Parenting with a positive, caring, and intellectual attitude would be a large variable in stopping violence. The court system needs to stop letting criminals out of jail for another chance to commit evil deeds. School systems need to discipline and follow through with consequences for those who break rules in school and disrupt the learning environment. Parents need to step up to the challenge of being responsible and to not enable their offspring to hurt others and commit crimes. Psychologists need to work within the school setting to aid in group sessions with those students who come to us with a negative attitude.

  • btneast Jul 9, 2014

    The only mentorships these children have growing up are, unfortunately, these gangs. They see it as a glamorous "family", a bunch of friends who always have their back. You hit the nail squarely on the head. Gangs flourish because of that need they fill......until you fix that problem, you will NEVER get rid of gangs and all of their associated crime.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jul 9, 2014

    Well put NotUrTypicalAmerican

  • kermit60 Jul 9, 2014

    I get tired of hearing these people talk. There kids are out all night, going to these house parties, hanging with other known gang members, doing poorly in school if they go at all. Most have no job, just a sense of entitlement. They have no home life to speak of if they even have a home. These kids weren't born 16 years old and a gang member. The parents or parent let it happen. Until there kid is in jail or killed. Then they demand justice, blame someone else, claim the sytem needs to do more. Have you ever heard one step up and say that they should have been a better parent? It's become another problem that they want fixed, they want the system to pay for it, they blame everyone for it. The real problem is themselves and their kids whom they probably shouldn't have had in the first place.

  • Confucius say Jul 9, 2014

    View quoted thread

    It's not lazy to say and not an easy cop-out, it's the truth. Most just don't want to admit it due to our PC society. You're right it is socioeconomic...and that and race go hand in hand for the most part. You can't discount the problems within the black and hispanic communities. Nothing will ever get solved that way.