Shooting Victim Keoshia Ford Heads Back to School

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 10/24/2013 6:48 pm

The juvenile who put Keoshia Ford, 14, in this bed, where tubes and splints are commonplace, is now spending 2 years behind bars.

Ashley Ward, Keoshia's Aunt, says, "I don't know when the court system is going to learn. They got to stop giving these little boys a slap on the wrist."

Ward and Keoshia's mother, Lakeshia Matthews,  now question what the City of Chattanooga is going about gang violence.

Matthews says, "I don't agree. I think they should have left it like it was."

Mathews is talking about the Gang Task Force that was once headed by Boyd Patterson and Fred Houser.

Mayor Andy Berke fired them several months ago and has since laid out a new plan to deal with gang members.

Mayor Andy Berke, says, "The High Point Initiative is really about making sure you have contact with them and that you explain their options. Either they put down their weapons or they have the most severe penalties."

That plan is supposed to go into effect in about two months time.

But Keoshia's family says what's being done about intervention and outreach, two area Patterson worked on daily.

Matthews adds, "I think they should have kept him on the case to try and help some of the young children get out of the gang and get jobs and help these children."

Meanwhile, Matthews child is just about to go back to school.

Keoshia will soon be using this special chair to attend classes at Orange Grove.

Kenyatta Jennings, Keoshia's Nurse, says, "As long as she's under 18, she still has the right to an education, so I think it will be real good for her to go, mind stimulation, she loves music."

Ward adds, "I'll just be glad when she starts talking to me. That's going to make me cry bc I haven't heard her voice in a year."

Mount Olivet Baptist Church is helping Keoshia's family with any supplies she might need.
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Here2Opine - 10/31/2013 12:53 PM
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As part of Mayor Berke's plan to fight crime, he sent 18 people to NYC to get training on the High Point plan at John Jay College. The cost to the taxpayers for such a trip: For example, a three day trip would cost: Air fare: $7,200 Hotel: $16,362 Per diem: $3,834 Total: $27,396 That's using government approved CONUS rates for hotel and per diem, which is what city employees are supposed to use. Air fare is an average from looking online. That's not including any additional expenses that may have been involved. One would assume that the cost of the actual training classes would be included in the $245,000 contract with David Kennedy but who knows. Wouldn't it have been less expensive to have the instructor come to Chattanooga to the training? One instructor, Chattanooga hotels and per diem (far less than NYC)...

Here2Opine - 10/31/2013 12:51 PM
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Well, the next victim of gang violence can thank Mayor Berke for dismantling the Gang Task Force and The Future Is Ours.
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