RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — The isolated shooting following a funeral in Riviera Beach that left two people dead is getting a lot of reaction from those who live near the scene.
“We’re losing more of our young men – versus keeping them around,” said Jacoby Waters, Young Men of Distinction founder and Riviera Beach resident. “Lives cut short.”
That’s the opinion WPTV heard around the neighborhood after the shooting on Saturday that resulted in the deaths of 15-year-old Terrance Jackson Jr., and 47-year-old Royce Freeman.
Waters who grew up blocks from the shooting calls it a sign of the times.
“Not just numbers - these are human beings,” said Waters.
It’s the reason he founded the non-profit Young Men of Distinction, a weekly program that promotes generational wealth in Riviera Beach. It addresses issues he believes have been traditionally ignored in the black community and families.
“Mental health, physical health, and family trauma,” said Waters.
On March 28, he and others will address these issues and violence during the State of the Black Male Summit at the Arts Warehouse in Delray Beach.
“The lack of communication and the lack of information,” said Francky Pierre-Paul, A Different Shade of Love, Inc. founder.
In addition to teens and young adults organizers also want to see a strong presence from law enforcement and elected leaders. The goal is to change the narrative in the black community in the hope of preventing another tragedy like the shooting over the weekend.
To learn more about the State of the Black Male Summit, click here.