Family of slain teen claims city, Jacksonville Landing negligent
I’m not a mother nor can I imagine what it’s like to lose a young child to a violent crime. Although I have strong opinions about many of these cases, my heart still goes out to any mother of a murdered child. Since Tyrik Solomon, 18, was not convicted in the shooting death of 16-year old Khamoi Petersen, on January 16, 2017 at the Jacksonville Landing, it’s apparent Petersen’s family wants someone to pay, literally and figuratively.
The Jacksonville Landing has been in the local community since 1987. It has a history of crime in and around the establishment. However, the Jacksonville Landing has surveillance video which showed Solomon fired after Petersen pulled a gun first. Additionally, off duty police are stationed at the Jacksonville Landing on a regular basis. By all accounts, the Jacksonville Landing has more security measures than most Jacksonville businesses. Apparently, right before this shooting occurred, many teens were asked to move on and not congregate in large groups around the facility. Had these kids been made leave the premises or confronted by police many would have called this police harassment.
The attorney representing Mr. Petersen’s family asked the question, “Although both individuals had guns, the operative question is why would teenagers feel comfortable carrying guns and engaging in this type of conduct in and around the Jacksonville Landing?”
This would have been a better question to ask the teens themselves who engaged in this behavior not a place of business which actually had security measures in place. Better yet, why would teenagers feel comfortable carrying guns and engaging in this type of conduct anywhere in the city?
The reality? A shooting incident can happen at any business in Jacksonville, FL . As a result, should any and all Jacksonville businesses be on alert and be ready to pay up because someone is murdered on their property? Can the Jacksonville Landing take additional security measures that wouldn’t be seen as unwelcoming and/or profiling of black youth? Why not hold the person accountable who provided 16-yr old Petersen the gun he was carrying?
A thirteen year old boy was also injured in this shooting. Should this child’s family also sue the city and the Jacksonville Landing? Would Petersen’s mother want to be sued for her son having and displaying his weapon which prompted this shooting?
Having a relative with high risk behaviors is becoming lucrative for some. It’s time to stop allowing people to profit so easily from death. The black community needs to get at the heart of how and why our black youth have access to guns and are murdering one another on a regular basis, locally. We have to ask the hard questions no matter how embarrassing or painful if we truly want change. Why is a 16-yr old straight-A student and “good kid” walking around with a gun? Why are parents oblivious to what their minor children are up to on our streets? Or are they? Blaming businesses, cash settlements and a few more redundant security measures will do little to address the root cause of why our youth are dying violent, untimely deaths. If we really care, it’s past time to act like it.