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Lester Young on gun violence in South Carolina

June 18, 2024

“The killing of a 16-year-old, shot as he was leaving a party, should have sent a ‘shock wave’ through the community. Instead, the police chief said, it seems as if the community has gone ‘numb.’

“Dozens of dozens of people were at the graduation party in late May where at least 50 shots were fired. A bullet struck high school football player Julian Keel as he was walking out.

“Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said very, very few teenagers and parents have come forward with information on the shooting. …

“For Path2Redemption’s Lester Young [JLUSA Senior Movement and Capacity Building Specialist], teen violence has been a longstanding problem. The response to teen violence, in his eyes, has been more reactive than proactive.

“To fix it, Young said, work needs to start at roots.

“‘Violence is trauma and abandonment,’ Young said.

“Young was convicted of murder when he was 18 for a fatal shooting. Since he was released in 2015, he’s been working to help the formerly incarcerated with their transition back into society. Now, he has several juvenile programs focused on choices, self-esteem and respect.

“‘You find a lot of these young men are coming from broken homes, and a broken home produces lack of identity, a lack of self-worth,’ Young said. ‘These various thing play a role in leading to violence.’”

Read the full article at PostandCourier.com.


(Photo: Special to CH2/CB2 Magazine)

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