Summit against violence brings community together -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Summit against violence brings community together

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Tonight the Tyler community came together to bring the community back together.

On the same day that Briana Young’s killer turned himself in to Smith County Police, the mother shot in front of her 3-year-old son in PT Cole Park, more than 50 residents met at Greater New Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church to discuss ideas for a safer community.

“We’ll march, we’ll rally, and then when the march is over, and when the rally is over, we go right back to the same old thing,” Reverend Jerome Milton said.

This is not enough. This summit, according to those in attendance, cannot be the last of its kind.

“It’s not just a onetime thing; we need to become more active when things happen, even before they happen,” Pearlie Henderson, a Tyler resident, said.   

So that incidents like the murder of Briana Young come to an end.

Crystol Watson is a mother of two children. She tearfully addressed the crowd tonight, begging them for more involvement.

“Things that have happened recently have really bothered me, because I think we, as a society and parents, we owe our kids better, I think we failed our kids,” she said.

Watson is concerned that some parents don’t know how to be parents.

“Whether it was because they didn’t learn from a role model of their parent or whether or not they just were too young or whether or not they weren’t prepared,” she said.

Regardless, she, and many others in attendance, say violence will stop when parent’s take responsibility for their children.

“My kids have to grow up in this society, I have to teach them, I’m responsible for teaching my kids, so it’s my job to get them prepared to go out there and be productive,” Watson said.

The community prayed and they talked without hatred per Reverend Milton’s request. They left feeling they had stepped one foot in the right direction.

“There’s a lot of work to be done in Smith County, lot of things to be done in homes, but this is a start, and I’m going to challenge parents, especially young people, to try to pay more attention and train their children more,” Henderson said.

The event was organized in response to Briana Young’s death.

Reverend Milton said this will not be the last one.

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