Miami Gardens / Opa-locka

Miami Gardens

Rally against violence set for Saturday

 

ldixon@MiamiHerald.com

Miami Gardens will continue its efforts to increase community involvement by hosting a Peace Rally and Resource Fair in the city on Saturday.

The rally will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Betty T. Ferguson Sports Complex at 3000 NW 199th St. and continue the city’s efforts to empower families and keep young people in the city occupied.

Interim Police Chief Paul Miller noted at a city meeting last Tuesday that in the last six weeks of 2013 the police department arrested 13 people with firearms and more than half of them were younger than 17.

Glenn Forshee, the father of 12-year-old Tequila Forshee who was shot and killed in her grandmother’s Miami Gardens home last August, agrees with the city’s message. He said that if children aren’t reached out to at a young age, then by the time they reach high school they can become involved in gang activity.

“They’re targeting the right generation,” Forshee said. “They need to be speaking with those young kids.”

The event will feature food, a flag football game and vendors presenting and offering goods and services like job placement assistance and recreational activities for children. Radio personalities Big Lip Bandit and Lorenzo “Ice T” Thomas are also scheduled to make appearances.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert will address the crowd and Forshee said he and his family members will also be present at the rally.

“We plan on involving ourselves in the community to raise awareness about the violence,” said Forshee

The rally is described as the kickoff event for the Miami Gardens My Life Matters campaign, with plans to host similar events in the future. City leadership wants to continue to emphasize the partnership between its elected officials, the police department and families in the city.

“Change has to happen because it’s crazy in Miami Gardens,” Forshee said. “It’s the parents, it’s the officials of the city and the police department, we all have to work together.”

For more information, visit miamigardens111.com or call 305-622-8000.

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