Miami Congressman Carlos Curbelo asks for federal funding to fight gun violence

Miami Congressman Carlos Curbelo
Miami Congressman Carlos Curbelo C.M. GUERRERO

Miami Congressman Carlos Curbelo has asked U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch for federal assistance in fighting a wave of gun violence that has claimed the lives of young people in Miami-Dade County.

Curbelo, a Republican, asked in a March 1 letter for funding from the Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program for local police departments. The program provides training, equipment and personnel to help with unexpected law enforcement emergencies, according to Curbelo's letter.

"The local police forces throughout Miami-Dade County, while performing admirably, need assistance," he wrote.

About 100 teens and children have been killed in Miami-Dade County in the last three years. The February shooting death of 6-year old King Carter, who was caught in the crossfire of teens feuding over social media posts, has sparked an outpouring from the community, police and political leaders.

Curbelo noted in his letter that most of the shootings have occurred in poor neighborhoods. They have been clustered in the northwest area of the county, though young people from all over Miami-Dade have fallen victim – including 7-year-old Amiere Castro, who was killed in December during a drive-by in Richmond Heights.

"The senseless shootings have left both the aggrieved families and their neighbors emotionally devastated. As they continue to grapple with the horrifying experience of losing loved ones, we as a community have united in the call for combating gun violence," Curbelo wrote.