Rise in juvenile crime sparks DJ Jubilee to call on parents to intervene
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Veteran community mentor and rapper DJ Jubilee has seen 40 community kids pass away from crime, accidents, or overdoses since 2003.
He says only one made it to their 25th birthday.
Year after year, Jubilee sees the kids he’s taught fall into the cycle of violent crime.
“I say, ‘Who’s going to be the first person to get killed during New Years? I ask myself another question. Who’s going to be the first person killed during Mardi Gras?” remembered Jubilee.
Less than 2 weeks ago, 15-year-old Roderick Tobias was shot and killed on the Bacchus parade route.
Early Thursday morning, an 11-year-old and two 15-year-olds were arrested in stolen cars on Fats Domino Street.
Not one week into March, New Orleans lost another teenager to gun violence; the St. Claude neighborhood mourns a 14-year-old boy killed late Thursday night.
Rafael Goyeneche with the Metropolitan Crime Commission says the New Orleans Police Department has put an added emphasis on proactive policing in place this year.
“When you are dealing with a 14-year-old victim, if the offender isn’t quickly identified and brought to justice then usually what we start to see is retaliatory street justice,” said Goyeneche. “One of the ways [police] can reduce the incidence of violence is by firearms enforcement. Every gun that they can take off the street means that there’s one less gun that’s in commerce that can be used for violence.”
But Jubilee says parents need to work even harder to intervene before kids resort to violence.
“Right now we should be at a point in New Orleans where we want to be outside. We want to enjoy the great things, the Second Lines, the Mardi Gras, the parades, the basketball at the park, the football. We don’t enjoy that stuff anymore because we’re afraid,” said Jubilee. “Somebody’s gotta bring a gun somewhere. Why would you bring a gun to a Second Line? Why would you bring a gun to a concert? Why would you bring a gun to a graduation?”
He calls on parents to get their kids back to the basics of community involvement where accountability is demanded from them.
“Kids need to start participating in recreational sports. Girls don’t participate in no recreational sports at all. No volleyball, no track, no softball. Guys are trickling off now. They’re not playing any sports anymore-- the adolescents, I’m talking about, 13-, 14-, 15-years-old,” said Jubilee. “They’re not playing any high school sports or nothing.”
Both Jubilee and Goyeneche emphasize the importance of holding violent offenders accountable.
“It’s critically important if we’re going to curb or curtail some of the violence that we’re seeing that the police department quickly identify who’s responsible and that once an arrest is made, they’re working with the District Attorney’s office to make sure that adequate bail is set and that the arrest is supported with a prosecution and conviction,” said Goyeneche.
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