WUFT News

Chicago Cease-Fire member wants to interrupt violence in Gainesville

By on April 2nd, 2012

Katiana Krawchenko / WUFT-FM

Chicago Cease Fire member Ameena Matthews meeting with youth in Gainesville on Monday.

After the national attention garnered by a racially charged You Tube video by two Gainesville High School students, bullying has become a quest of many who look to put an end to it. Ameena Matthews, a member of Chicago Cease Fire, which aims to stop violence before it begins, took a trip to the Gainesville area to meet with community members to discuss efforts to stop bullying and violence in the county. She’s traveled to various facilities around Gainesville including the juvenile detention center. Florida’s 89.1, WUFT-FM’s Katiana Krawchenko joined Matthews at the Northwest Gainesville Boys and Girls Club today. 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Just prior to arriving in Gainesville, Chicago Cease Fire Violence Interrupter Ameena Matthews talked with Florida’s 89.1, WUFT-FM’s Donna Green-Townsend: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Leaders at the Boys and Girls Club in Gainesville say the lighthearted sound of children’s play at the center does not adequately reflect the trouble many of them face. That’s why Ameena Matthews talked to a group of children at the center today. The Chicago native was brought to Gainesville by the River Phoenix Center for Peace-Building and is a Senior Violence Interrupter at Chicago Cease Fire. It’s a group which aims to interrupt homicides and gang violence before they escalate into dangerous crims. Matthews believes that message needs to start when children are young, so she sat with the children in a circle on this afternoon, discussing ways communication can target violence before it even starts.

Matthews has been in the children’s shoes. She is a former gang member and traveled down a dangerous road before she started teaching about violence to children. And bullying was a big part of it. She told them of a scary experience she had as a child.

Ameena Matthews described how violence spreads, like a disease, and that the virus needs to be halted before it spreads.  Matthews’ work with Chicago Cease Fire was featured in a documentary called “The Interrupters.” That video will be shown tonight at 6:30 at the PK Yonge Performing Arts Center. It is also sponsored by GPD Chief Tony Jones, Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell, the Juvenile Justice Council, the Black On Black Crime Task Force and the River Phonenix Center For Peacebuilding. There will be a question and answer session after the screening.


This entry was posted in Crime, National and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Crime

Police-Youth Picture_Crum

Program Fosters Police-Youth Relationships

The Gainesville Police Department teamed up with the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding to discuss the relationships between police officers and youths. The Police-Youth Dialogue Program gives police officers and youths an safe outlet to share experiences and misunderstandings.


Live Oak Police Chief Buddy Williams flips down the cover of the VIEVU camera to expose the lens. The newer cameras will be placed on the wearer’s sunglasses.

Live Oak Police To Receive Body Cameras; Suwannee County Sheriff Resists Plans

While the Live Oak Police Department is getting body cameras for its officers to wear, other agencies in the area aren’t as receptive. Privacy and cost are issues they want to look at.


Charges Against 11-Year-Old For Brother’s Death Dropped

Charges against an 11-year-old girl for the shooting death have been dropped by State Attorney Jeff Siegmeister. Her 15-year-old sister, who police say shot and killed their 16-year-old brother, could still be charged. The girls’ parents are also being investigated.


Letroy Guion was arrested after an 11:03 p.m. traffic stop. Guion played football at Bradford High School and Florida State University before being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings.

NFL Player Arrested in Starke on Marijuana and Gun Charges

Letroy Shelton Guion, Jr., who has played for the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings in the NFL, was arrested in his hometown of Starke, according to a media release from Starke Police Department.


The Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, located at 9239 S. U.S. Highway 129, announced Friday that residents are encouraged to use its parking lot to meet and complete online transactions.

Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office Becomes Safe Place For Online Sales

Local Craigslist antique seller arranges trade meeting in Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office to ensure safety for both buyer and seller. Ron Mills and the sheriff’s office hope to see more counties adopt the practice in preventing online crime.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments