Theme:– Operation C.R.U.S.H. Against Gun Violence, Bias and Clouded Vision
From NYC to Detroit to Chicago there’re reasons to see that anti-violence campaigns are needed. From a skating rink to a barbershop to the ‘hood, it seems when things die down they flare up again. That’s why Derek Brown and the Ceasefire anti-violence program find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
The program was started to deal with the gang problem in Chicago. It provides intervention services to interrupt the potential for retaliations. Many of the organization’s counselors are ex-offenders who turned around their lives. The program allows them to serve the community in a “keeping it real” kind of way.
Aljazeera America reports Ceasefire’s city-funded contract expired over the summer and wasn’t renewed. They had to shrink staff and close locations. One of the program administrators feels it’s like a double punishment. They served their time in prison and are being penalized again for making a difference.
Some police honchos question taxpayer funding of ex-cons. They feel Ceasefire gets in the way of their efforts. Others in the community vouch for the program after seeing a decrease in school suspensions. Isn’t that the whole point of anti-violence? An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Brown and others hope funding is returned next year. In the meantime, he’s been trying to stay afloat with a food truck on the corner. This way he can have a legal hustle while still being available to share street advice in the community. It’s clearly a better option than having to backslide into delivering street justice.
Footnote: It’s much better to save a life by preventing an unnecessary bullet from flying than by having to stop an emergency room patient from dying.