Hume-Fogg teens take up youth violence in Nashville

A group of teens are planning to take a more active approach to defeat violence among African-American youths in Nashville.

Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School students hosted a panel with Nashville community leaders at the Grand Masonic Lodge of Tennessee Thursday evening.

“It’s a call to action panel to see, one, what they think about what’s going on, and two, what is it that we need to do to fix the problem?” said Aniya Milford, a Hume-Fogg senior and president of Black Americans United. “It’s basically to get everything put on the table so that everybody has a clear understanding of what is expected of them.”

Black Americans United is the club that sponsored the event featuring Metro police Chief Steve Anderson, Councilman Freddie O’Connell, Metro schools Director Shawn Joseph, and juvenile court Judge Sheila Calloway.

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Students Hold Panel On African American Teen Criminalization

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Public School students and city leaders met Thursday night to discuss violence happening in the African American youth community.

Students from Hume-Fogg Academic put on the panel discussion. Junior Taylor Gentry, 16, lives in North Nashville. Gentry said her friends are tired of seeing shootings happen within the young black community. She said she sees some of the violence like suspensions and expulsions in her community are generated from social media activities.

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Community Leaders Tackle Trend Of Teens Committing Violent Crimes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For nearly two decades Juvenile Magistrate Judge Carlton Lewis has sat on a bench at the Juvenile Justice Center. “Whenever somebody gets to this court every other agency, every other program in the community has probably failed.”

The four teens recently charged with criminal homicide may end up in his court room. “Obviously it scares me, the idea of anyone being involved in any kind of violent offense,” Lewis said.

Anthony Sinor, Mithcell Mann, Byron Berkley and Terrence Rainey are all 16-years-old, and they’re all charged with criminal homicide since mid-January. While some may think it’s gang related, officers believe otherwise.

“The kids involved in these shootings are not confirmed gang members and nor do we feel like it’s any type of gang initiation,” said Officer Kelly Gray.

Gray serves as supervisor for the Gang and High Risk Unit, she said many of the kids coming into court now don’t have any previous court involvement. “This is new for us,” she said.

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Nashville’s juvenile court plans new program to cut down on youth violence

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – January has been a violent month in Nashville for juveniles. Four teenagers were charged with homicide compared to none charged during the same period last year.

The latest are Terrence Rainey and Byron Berkley, both 16, who are accused in the murder of Javonte Robinson, 18, and critically injuring Roy Hunter, 20, during a robbery at a Madison apartment complex last Saturday.

According to the Davidson County Juvenile Court administrator, in January 2016, eight juveniles were charged with aggravated assault and four teens were charged with aggravated robbery. No juveniles were charged with especially aggravated robbery or homicide.

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Nashville Children And Teen Homicide Rate Decreases

It’s the most homicides Nashville has seen in more than a decade. 84 people were killed in Music City in 2016, compared to 79 criminal homicides in 2015.

It’s an unfortunate trend that seems to be sweeping many major cities in the country. The number of homicides on the rise, and families left to deal with the loss of their loved one.

12 of last year’s 84 homicide victims were teenagers or younger. That number is down, and that’s something the city is happy about. Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson is crediting the decrease to the Youth Violence Reduction Initiative, led by Mayor Megan Barry, and the work that followed.

Though the number of youth homicides are down, some could argue it’s not low enough.

Like Courtney Hambrick, a heartbroken mother who talked with NewsChannel 5 over the holidays after losing her son Ricky Hambrick, 16.

A bright 11th grader at Whites Creek High School gunned down and left to bleed out in a driveway.

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6 notable Middle Tennesseans of 2016

Many notable people made a difference in Middle Tennessee and across the state in 2016.

The Tennessean Editorial Board made its selection for Tennesseans of the Year based upon an evaluation of the news of the past year and the impact the person or people had on the community.

That is how editorial board members came up with the decision to honor Dolly Parton and the heroes and survivors of the Sevier County wildfire in their efforts to rebuild and recover.

Thank you to the many readers who submitted nominations. These were very helpful as they aided us in identifying an array of worthy people in their own right.

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Juvenile court magistrate’s childhood helps her relate

Mom and Dad started screaming at each other — again — in the other room.

The sounds of slamming and slapping punctuated the shouts, scaring the two little girls, who could hear everything. Trembling, they reached for the phone, dialed 911 and immediately hung up.

The police called back, and the girls answered right away: “No, no, we didn’t call.”

The ringing phone stopped the fight that time in their modest home in a poor part of Kalamazoo, Mich.

But the girls, Jennifer, 7, and her older sister, Sheneeka, 10, fled the house nearly every time Daddy came home drunk and raised his voice.

“Lots of times, my mom said, ‘We’ve gotta go! We’ve gotta go!’ ” says Jennifer Wade, now a magistrate for Metro’s juvenile court.

She is saddened at memories of domestic violence, a drunk father, the divorce that happened when she was in third grade.

The experiences, though, help her connect to many of the children and teens who appear before her.

“My upbringing helps me remember those kids have an experience every day like I did — an absent parent, an abusive parent, an addicted parent or no parent at all,” Wade said. “They all bring that experience with them.”

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Life sentences for Tennessee juveniles are essentially death sentences

A documentary filmmaker urges lawmakers to reform sentencing guidelines for violent juvenile offenders.

Some lawyers, a juvenile court judge, state legislators from both major parties, and advocacy groups have been working to reform Tennessee’s juvenile sentencing laws.

This is because Tennessee’s laws concerning violent juvenile offenders are out of step with recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Two bills (SB 2090/HB 2028) proposed in 2016 would have fixed this by making it possible for juveniles serving extraordinarily long sentences to be reviewed for possible early release after serving 15 years. Neither bill passed.

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