NBC 4 New York
In Newark, calls are growing louder to stop the violence that's terrorizing the neighborhoods. The city has seen the highest number of murders in over 7 years, and some of the victims are children. Lori Bordonaro reports.
As the city of Newark closes on its deadliest year since 2006, residents and community leaders are pushing for a show of force against violence.
The mother of 13-year-old Kassan Morman, shot and killed alongside friend 13-year-old Zainee Hailey, who was taking out the trash in Newark on Christmas Day, grieved publicly Sunday during a community rally.
"I want justice for my child," she said. "He was a good child."
The killings put Newark's homicide count over 100 for 2013, the first year since 2006 the city has reached that mark.
Morman's family is one of many in mourning in Essex County after a particularly violent month. In addition to the deadly shootings of Hailey and Morman, three people were murdered outside a strip club last week, a 30-year-old lawyer was killed in a carjacking in a mall parking lot two weeks ago and on Saturday night, a man was shot and killed after an argument at a Mount Prospect Avenue home in newark. That victim has been identified as 39-year-old Jose Alfaro.
"We are saying that something needs to be done immediately," said Newark Councilman Ras Baraka.
"We need more cops on the ground and cops in the street."
They also had a message to the ones responsible for the rash of violence.
"We're asking you, for the sake of your life and the sake of the lives of our mothers and grandmothers who are losing their sons and daughters, to put your guns today."
Community leaders are also trying to recruit neighbors to form a patrol.
"We're going to begin to patrol the streets ourselves, because if we cannot get the police to patrol the streets, then we're going to patrol ourselves."