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Bridgeport youth gun violence round table heavily attended

After four homicides in just over a month in Bridgeport, a youth gun violence round table was held Thursday morning in the Mayor's conference room.

The participants say there was a valuable exchange of ideas including the discussion of a disturbing trend: incorporating social media in the commission of crimes.

"They are sending out messages brazenly about either crimes that they’re going to commit or have committed," said Mayor Joseph Ganim (D-Bridgeport).

An example: a Facebook post, obtained by Fox 61, in which a 19 year old male is threatened with death following a fist fight over a the teen's girlfriend Tuesday night. An hour after the fight, which happened in front of Sujata Lee Edwards' William St. home, the 36 year old woman was shot to death, while looking out her second-floor window.

"I feel like someone deliberately came to my sisters home and they ended her life deliberately and I was a conscious decision that they made," said Sheraud Lee, a brother of Sujata Lee Edwards.

He said the mental health of youth needs to be addressed better.

"I’m happy to see that it’s less taboo to touch on a lot of those topics and I just hope that the conversation continues to grow and develop," Lee said.

A brother of 12-year-old Clinton Howell, shot to death on his front porch in December, says children must have positive role models in their lives.

"To basically have that voice that can deter them from bad situations and kind of put them on a positive outlook," said Gamel Dawkins, Howell's brother, whose wish is to become a Bridgeport police officer.

One parent, who has a son presently incarcerated, said the path children choose starts at home.

"I don’t care how busy your schedule is or how many kids you have or how many jobs you have to work you still can make a difference," said Samaris Rose, a Bridgeport parent with five children.
State Sen. Christopher Rosario (D-Bridgeport) has also introduced a bill that would allow 14 and 15-year-olds to work during the school year, with a goal of eliminating some of their idle time.

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