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Teens address issue of gun violence at youth forum
CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- Teens took a hard look at violence and the effects it could have on their future August 8th, 2014.
They met with Cincinnati's police chief and a panel of judges for a youth summit. In a time when police see younger and younger children committing violent crimes the kids found a positive way to spend the afternoon.
They had questions about how to avoid getting caught in the juvenile justice system.
Aristotle Buie, a high school student, said, "I asked the questions I asked because I was concerned for myself and for some of my friends."
Aristotle was aware that his actions now could affect his goal of becoming a lawyer later. He and dozens of other young people who were at the youth forum addressed the problem of gun violence.
Judge Fanon Rucker of the Hamilton County Municipal Court said, "Some of the young people are asking what type of programs are out there for the youth. What initiatives the police department and the juvenile court have in order to address or to stop the gun violence. I mean very, very thoughtful questions that show that the kids are engaged."
The panel of judges, social service workers, and Cincinnati's police chief were also there to encourage the teens. Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said he tried to get to young people before they take the wrong path. Once they enter the justice system there's a 70 percent chance that they will stay in it.
"My goal as a chief is to be preventive and not reacting to kids once they already get into trouble. So the more that we can spread the message of self-love and appreciate your neighborhood and having good character, that's what we want to preach," said Blackwell.
Adults who volunteered their time hope the teens achieve great things and they take in every piece of advice.
The groups that organized the event said the next forum focuses on entrepreneurship and helping the teens get jobs.
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