‘Put the guns down:’ Cleveland councilman calls for end of violence against children

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Ward 7 Cleveland Councilman Basheer Jones is calling on the community to end the violence that has exploded in the city in recent days.

The councilman spoke on Friday at 7720 Woodland Ave. in Cleveland asking people to stand vigilant against crime.

On Tuesday, a 13-year-old girl in the Ward 5 neighborhood was shot and is in critical condition.

“I am calling on the good citizens of our neighborhoods to protect each other and turn in those who want to cause us harm,” Jones said. “And I’m calling on those involved to stop the retaliation that causes more innocents to be harmed or killed.”

During the news conference, Jones pled with those who are committing violent crimes: “Put the guns down.”

He gave an opportunity for a mother of three children to speak as well. She said she is afraid to let her children play outside.

She called for authorities to take the guns out of the hands of those who are violent and don’t have a license.

Jones said the answer is multi-faceted. It’s not just making school hours longer or more policing. He said he will sit down with officials and create a plan.

“We know who got shot and we know who did the shooting,” Jones said. “We cannot harbor these people anymore. There is a difference between snitching and keeping your community safe. Let’s turn these people in.”

Jones said Mayor Frank Jackson has done a great job confronting crime, but it’s the responsibility of the community to also act.

“You don’t have to wait for the city to pick up trash in front of your house,” he said. “You don’t have to wait for the city to find the criminals. You can turn them in.”

He said to those who are acting in violence, “Children are off limits,” and there should be a, “Hands off” code of conduct to not shoot into busy parks where children are playing or homes where children are living.

Jones is running for mayor.

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