BROOKLYN — Through almost a week’s worth of vigils for the shooting death of 1-year old Davell Gardner, we’ve noticed the same, consistent message, uttered to us during candid sidewalk conversations and bellowed from a megaphone to committed crowds here in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.
Frustration,and dismay over the teenagers and young people in their 20s who are out in these streets contributing to gun violence.
"It is our failure to engage and to rescue a lost generation," said Rev. Kirsten Foy of the National Action Network. "That's our failure."
Foy lead a vigil at the site where Gardner was fatally shot in the stomach Sunday night, caught in the crossfire of what residents say was an ongoing gang beef between teenagers.
But to be clear, Foy also blamed the lack of services and job opportunities for Black and Brown teens, dashed away over the last few months by the coronavirus pandemic, placing the blame squarely on the de Blasio Administration.
Foy added that he knew that predators would come out "after we shut down the schools and shut down the playgrounds and shut down the parks and took down the basketball hoops" and take advantage of children.
Foy was joined by Gwen Carr, Eric Garner's mother, a host of elected officials and several teenagers. That's notable, because too often during these rallies, protests, and vigils, the elders dropping words of wisdom are essentially "preaching to the choir." In other words, young people who need to hear the message are nowhere to be found.
But not on this night.
"I'm out here today because I'm angry," said Brooklyn resident Pinnacle Garcia. "You all need to be angry. How many times do we have to say 'how many more?' A 1-year-old was killed."