Is Code of Silence Between Residents, Police Being Torn Down?

Through her pain, a mother about to bury her son, believes the long code of silence between some communities and police is being torn down.

Tammy Sweeting has now lost two of her sons to gun violence; the latest was 17-year-old Roderick who was shot more than 20 times last week. Police said it was people willing to point them in the right direction that led to the arrest of the alleged killers.

The three teens arrested are being held as their prosecution moves forward. This is the second time in recent weeks that tips and leads put detectives on the trail of the suspects.

"People were scared. So what this shows the community and these young guys that are going around and taking people's kids, the law is tired of it, you got parents tired of it and the community is tired of it," Tammy Sweeting expressed.

Sweeting spoke to NBC 6 Thursday before heading into the funeral home that will handle the burial of her teenage son, Roderick.

A parent of one of the teens arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Roderick's death fainted Wednesday after his court hearing. Detectives said instead of remaining silent, neighbors, those at businesses nearby, and other teens all pointed them to Roderick's alleged killers.

"It's a sign of hope the community is changing," Sweeting said.

Several weeks ago, the pleas from 6-year-old King Carter's parents were answered when a tip that came into the Crime Stoppers line led to the arrest of two teens.

The arrests in both cases is overturning the long held view that residents in some neighborhoods wouldn't cooperate with police.

Miami Gardens has been deploying its officers out into neighbors to make their rounds, sometimes they are well received, other times not. Sweeting thinks these efforts did make a difference in finding those who allegedly shot her son.

"Miami Gardens did an excellent job, an excellent job. They were speaking to people and knocking on doors," Sweeting said.

Police are pointing to these two cases as an example of what can happen when we have these types of tragedies, at least some closure and some justice for the families who lost loved ones. The community policing effort is also something departments see as vital in breaking cases.

The City of Miami Gardens is hosting "Peace in the Gardens" on Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's being held at Rolling Oaks Park at 18701 Northwest 17th Avenue in Miami Gardens.

The family fun day is being held in conjunction with the "My Life Matters" campaign and observance of "National Crime Victim's Rights Week."

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