The mother of a 4-year-old killed in senseless gunfire in a park spoke out Thursday about the arrest in the case. She was joined by several women, many of whom have lost children to gun violence. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
There's little relief for Shianne Norman in the fact that a 17-year-old is charged with murder in the shooting death of her 4-year-old son Lloyd Morgan Jr.
"That could never, ever bring my baby back, ever," she said.
Norman spoke out Thursday about the shooting death of her son, who was killed Sunday night at a shooting on a basketball court near the Forest Houses. She was flanked by community leaders and activists who vowed to fight for an end to senseless violence.
"We must take on our own communities and we must say we are going to dismantle gangs," said Tamika Mallory with the National Action Network. "We are going to rid our communities of thugs and punks. They are not stronger than we are."
"Stop being thugs in this community," said Hazel Dukes of the New York NAACP. "Everybody who lives in Forest Houses and around, this is our home. They should not be afraid to come out because you are a little punk. Punk, we are ready to punk you out and take you out."
"If you know anyone who is involved in any crime, in any shooting in the city of New York, you tell the police," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. "You come forward.
The criminals will tell you that you are snitching but these mothers will tell you
you are saving a life. It is that simple and it changes today."
Rapper and Entertainer Salt of legendary rap group Salt-N-Pepa joined the mothers and women outraged by the killing of a little boy.
"I don't know what else to do but to be here," she said. "To pray with the mothers. To lend my celebrity, whatever awareness I can bring to the violence that is going on in our community. To help bring about some kind of change. But most of all, to support Shianne and just let her know I am her."
Norman was thankful for the support she received from the community.
"The message I can give, the love that you are giving me is overwhelming," she said. "And I appreciate everything that anyone and everyone has done for me today."
She added that her 10-year-old daughter gave her the strength to speak out so soon after the death of her son.
"Amya Edwards, she is my backbone," she said. "Because of her, when she has children, I have to make sure that doesn't happen to my grandkids coming up."