Mayor Gabriel J. Campana spoke to a teenager who witnessed a deadly shooting in Flanigan Park Monday night. He told Campana, "I am no snitch."
Campana, a former school teacher, said the 15-year-old boy was his former student.
"He said, 'I'm not telling you. People see me talking to you. I'm told in my family that you're not supposed to tell information when people are shot,' " Campana said. "If their parents tell them not to cooperate with law enforcement, they are society's problem and should be ashamed."
In school, Campana added, students are taught to respect police as helpers in the community.
"I want to crush this drug activity," Campana said, adding that he's been on the telephone with the Attorney General asking for additional resources.
"We've had issues for many years that many other municipalities don't have," Campana said. "But our resources have been cut over the years and they need to be restored."
"We need assistance from the black community, from government agencies outside the city and from all parents of young people to teach them to speak up and not be afraid," he said.
Campana was upset that the shooting came within yards of the street named after a man of peace - the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Dr. King would be appalled of the filth in that neighborhood, and a shooting occurred in a neighborhood named after himself," Campana said.
"We have the potential for additional shootings and violence if people don't take pride and show they care," he said. "If they condone that type of behavior they are part of the problem."