One of the reasons why Florida lawmakers passed the House Bill 363, also known as the “Crime Stoppers Bill”, is hopes that people will feel safer helping law enforcement.
"I hope that people will come forward now and that they would feel more safe to say something," says Dorothy Williams, whose two-year-old grandson was the victim of gun violence during a 2017 shooting in Miami-Dade County.
On Thursday, the proposed law passed unanimously on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives.
State Representative Kevin Chambliss, a Democrat from the 117th District, wants the community to feel safe to share any information with Crime Stoppers without the fear of any backlash.
“This bill does not only make sure that the tips are protected by creating new liability protection for the workers of Crime Stoppers, but we’re doing their job by making it a felony for someone to willfully know you’re fully seeking that information that they know is illegal," he said.
“The way that information will be used will be used in a way where the tipster can remain anonymous and protected."
Chambliss represents communities like Homestead, Goulds, and Naranja that are plagued with gun violence. Goulds is where Williams lost her grandson, Carnell, to gun violence when he was shot and killed in December 2017.
“We heard a pop… he called out to me. And that shattered my world since then," says Williams
To this day, there has been no arrest in connection to the shooting.
“Please use Crimes Stoppers because they are our number one tool right now in solving these crimes,” explains Williams.
Carnell's photo has been on numerous flyers in hopes that someone will come forward with a tip. Now that the bill has passed on the House floor, it’s off to the State Senate for review.