The mayor of Miami Gardens says that fear of snitching that encourages brazen criminals."Think about what that's saying. 'I don't care if you see my face, I don't think you're going to tell,'" Mayor Oliver Gibson said. The family of 12-year-old Tequila Forshee are asking the community to help identify her killers.
Family members of a 12-year-old girl who was shot and killed while sitting inside her grandmother's Miami Gardens home earlier this month gathered for a walk and rally against crime Monday.
The family of Tequila Forshee as well as police and other members of the community took part in the Walking One Stop march against violence.
"Miami Gardens hasn't always been this way, we need to get our city back and cleaned up," father Glenn Forshee said. "I grew up in this community for 33 years, we ain't afraid of anybody, we gonna hunt you down, I need the killers that killed my daughter to be captured and brought to justice."
Tequila Forshee was killed on Aug. 14 as she sat inside the home at 42nd Avenue and 201st Street. Her grandmother, Tawanda Frazier-Brown, was also injured by the gunfire. Three other family members were inside the home at the time of the shooting.
No arrests have been made but police said they are are looking for at least four suspects who are between 15 and 18 years old. The four suspects were riding two bicycles and may have had a fifth suspect running with them.
"Somebody somewhere has a kid who Wednesday night on the 14th knew their kids were out riding a bike, you as a parent have to come forward, you've got to do something about this, your child killed my child," Glenn Forshee said.
The shooting has shocked the community and prompted a $30,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
"The way these savages is acting is crazy, something needs to be done, people need to stand up and say something and fight," Miami Gardens Police Chief Matthew Boyd said. "People are afraid to step up and they sit back and put it on the police to solve this crime, it's just not the police, you need the community, the community needs to be involved."
"Thinking about snitching? I own these streets, I got eyes everywhere," says a menacing man in a new Miami-Dade Crimestopper's public service announcement.
Go ahead and snitch, before its someone you love is the message behind the PSA's. A message that's been hard for police to get out in Miami Gardens. The mayor says that fear, encourages brazen gunmen, so brazen in fact that they don't wear masks to continue terrorizing the streets, according to the mayor.
"Think about what that's saying. 'I don't care if you see my face, I don't think you're going to tell,'" Mayor Oliver Gibson said.
"We realize we can't take it anymore. We can't take it and were not going to stand for it. It was Tequila and it happened to us and we don't want it to happen to someone else," said Chanae Forshee, the victim's aunt
"Something needs to be done. People need to stand up and say something and fight.," said Police Chief, Matthew Boyd.
He and other leaders helped the family go door to door, passing out fliers in the community.
Currently there are 211 officers patrolling the city's streets. It's the largest number in Miami Garden's history. The department hopes to hire even more officers, but says combating violence and crime starts with the community leaders.
It's "snitching" that Walter Ramsey can thank for helping catch the drunk driver that killed his 3-year-old daughter, 20 years ago.
"We have to get up and do something because too many innocent babies are dying," Ramsey said.
And now, a family who lost someone precious hopes the people of Miami Gardens will speak up.
"Tequila can't die in vain," her aunt said.
Friends, family members and police passed out flyers and pleaded for information in the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
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