Community activists gathered Wednesday to try to figure out what they can do to help stop gun violence in the wake of a pregnant woman’s death.
Dominique Lee was shot while riding in a car on Reading Road in Walnut Hills on Sunday. Lee died, but her child survived.
“To allow things happening today in our city and our neighborhoods, it’s unbelievable,” community activist Mitch Morris said.
Activists say Lee’s death functioned as an “urgent cry” to the community to work together to stop gun violence.
“I know it’s hard, but we can do it,” Jennifer Foster said.
“I’m asking anyone who is watching to put down the guns,” Carl Nettaflagg-Miles said. “There’s a better way.”
The common refrain of “see something, say something” isn’t enough anymore, the community activists say. They want to do more and say they have a plan.
Pastor Ennis Tait of Tait Ministries calls it a “different level” of engagement. To accomplish that, he wants to bring people to the table who currently don’t have a seat.
“Anybody who is serious about saving lives, we want to call this action to everybody,” Tait said.
The pastor hopes to address the root causes underlying gun violence, including problems that begin at home.
“The domestic violence, the abuse,” Tait explained. “This generation is carrying more in our spirits than many of us have experienced in our entire lifetime.”
Outreach is not new for these activists, but now they say they’re redoubling their efforts.
“So, we have to be in the schools every week,” Tait said, referencing a mentoring program backed by City Council Member Jeff Pastor called “Guys with Ties” currently in effect at Rockdale Elementary. “If they have to do that in every school, we will.”
But Breyonna Burt, Lee’s sister, has doubts the new engagement efforts will work.
“People are still getting killed left and right,” Burt said. “Nothing is working. Nothing.”
Despite those doubts, these community activists continue to push on. Thursday, they’ll hold a march for Lee in Mt. Auburn.
Meanwhile, Christopher Gross, the man charged in Lee’s murder, faced a judge Wednesday morning.
His bond is set at $3 million.