FORT WORTH, Texas — A community leader is speaking out about the rash of homicides in Fort Worth. He hopes to make a difference himself, that could lead to ending the violence.
Community activist Johnny Cook Muhammad is one of the men who regularly visits Morningside Middle School to help students stay on the right track. He believes it's more important now than ever, especially after recently seeing so much violent crime.
"We have a program called Brothers with Pride, along with another program of what we call VIP," said Cook Muhammad.
So, on a day-to-day basis, students at Morningside never know when they'll run into volunteers, like Cook Muhammad in the hallway. The principal said this partnership with community activists is priceless, giving students positive reinforcement.
"We come in and do some mentoring and working with the young men in the schools, and just seeing how we could help stop a lot of the confusion," Cook Muhammad said. "And just make it more comfortable and safe."
Cook Muhammad is deeply concerned about the recent deadly violence around Fort Worth, especially its impact on the Black community.
"I hope I don't offend nobody. But I got to be truthful. Black lives matter if somebody that don't look like us kill us. But for it to come to each other, as us, I don't know if Black lives really matter. We need to have rallies that are children lives matter, black children, lives matter," said Cook Muhammad.
In April alone, Fort Worth police responded twice to the Buttercup Apartments for homicides involving young people. Unfortunately, 17-year-old Roshonda Henderson did not survive a shooting on April 13. Police now have one person in custody who they suspect was involved in the young girl's shooting death.
Then on April 24, officers found a man injured by gunfire, who later passed away at the hospital. No word on any arrest in his case.
Cook Muhammad expressed concerns that there are just not enough people in the Fort Worth community coming forward to call for a stop to the deadly violence.
"This is not normal. This is not normal at all," Cook Muhammad said. "If we don't be careful, we'll be coming numb to it."
That's why Cook Muhammad said he'll walk the hallways throughout the school year, so kids know this one thing:
"The heart of the message is our love for self. And then, the knowledge of self is the heart of the message" Cook Muhammad said. "And then, just to let them know that they got value."