AURORA, Colo. — The recent fusillade of violent crimes in Denver involving teenagers and children, both as perpetrators and victims, is raising alarms across the entire metro area.
Are we in the throes of a new Summer of Violence?
Why have the violent deaths of 12- to 18-year-olds suddenly become "normalized"? Why has gunfire with young people pulling the trigger become so constant that, at times, it has seemed omnipresent in parts of the city? What are the root causes of this surge?
The Denver Gazette and 9NEWS want to help find answers. Tuesday night, we teamed up for "Kids in the Crossfire, A Town Hall: Exploring Solutions to Youth Violence in Denver."
> Watch the full town hall in the video player above.
The discussion followed a Denver Gazette series about youth violence in metro Denver and how children are navigating life in the era of school shootings and gang violence. It focused on practical, pragmatic steps we can take to stem the tide.
The discussion was moderated by 9NEWS' Steve Staeger, and the panel of experts included:
- Beth McCann, Denver district attorney
- Melissa Janiszewski, executive director of Denver's Office of Children's Affairs
- Angela Lawson, Aurora city councilwoman
- Jonathan McMillan, director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Education
- Rica Rodriguez-Hernandez, director of the Urban Impact team, Life-Line Colorado
- Tracy Durant, sociology and criminology professor at University of Denver
- Sarah Goodrum, research professor at the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence
These experts surveyed the programs Denver has in place to combat youth violence, told us what is working and what isn’t, and spoke to what more Denver can do to build a community free from the harms of violence.
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