Mothers are fed up with Newark violence - KMSP-TV

Mothers are fed up with Newark violence

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NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

The woman they call the godmother of Newark raised six kids on her own. Now Donna Jackson is trying to save other children's lives. With the murder rate at its highest level in more than 20 years, she's on an urgent mission.

Sidewalk memorials to murder victims are common sights in Newark. It is even more so this year, with the Newark murder rate hitting 110, according to the Essex County prosecutor. That is the highest number since 1990.

Jackson told me she is outraged. She volunteers as a community counselor and motivator. She monitors police radios on her spare phone, gathers and sends out alerts about crimes in progress, and offers help to grieving families with fellow volunteer Cassandra Dock. She believes it has gotten harder and harder for kids to escape the deadly gunfire.

Hundreds turned out to say goodbye to Reginald Terry, an 18-year-old college honors student and former high school football star, who was shot and killed shielding a young woman from random gunfire.

Minutes away on another street, the mother of murdered 15-year-old Kasson Morman, called for more police protection.

As a mother and grandmother, Jackson knows she can't heal the broken hearts, but she can help grieving parents navigate through the paperwork that comes after their child is murdered.

Despite everything she sees, the godmother of Newark still believes there is good in everyone. But Jackson also believes changing things won't be easy, but it can be done.

Mayor Luis Quintana Monday evening issued a statement saying that the city was fast-tracking the process to get more police officers on the streets and also to team up with other law enforcement agencies.

"Our entire city is mourning the loss of life due to gun violence which has negatively impacted our city during this holiday season," Quintana said. "We are listening to and agree with the concerns of our communities. The number one priority of my administration has been since day one, and continues to be, to address the public safety needs of our residents."

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