Policing not only answer to gun violence: Blair
Toronto's Police Chief Bill Blair said law enforcement alone can't solve the problem of gun violence that has currently been on an upswing in the city.
"There are some of these young men who are so violent and so dangerous that the rest of society has to be protected from them," Blair told reporters on Friday.
"And we have to incapacitate their violence. We have to put them in prison and keep them away from society. But you can’t put everybody in jail. You can’t arrest your way out of these problems.”
Police and other agencies have to go into the troubled neighbourhoods where these young people live and try to help them make better choices, he said.
"If there are people who are involved in gang or violent activity, find ways to extricate them from that and divert them from that type of a lifestyle," Blair said.
For the year, Toronto's total homicide count of 56 is higher than 2009 (45) at this time. However, it is still lower than either 2008 (59) or 2007 (71).
In the past week, the city has seen a rash of shootings that has left four people dead, although Thursday night was quiet.
Three youths between the ages of 16 and 17 have been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a fellow teen on Nov. 17.
Of Toronto's 28 shooting deaths, 25 victims are black males. Of those, about one-third are teens.
"Young people in particular are vulnerable to making some bad choices," Blair said.
To help in the fight against gun violence, some Toronto hip-hop artists are vowing to help take the glamour out of gun violence.
They have decided to "shun the gun" in their music, one spokesperson said.
"The fact is that children are seeing these things and following it," said Kemi Omololu, an anti-violence advocate.
At least two of those who have died this year in GTA shootings are rappers.
One, a 17-year-old, died in Ajax after being shot at a church basement party in late July.
Toronto’s Donald Grant, 27, who recorded under the name of Don Kartel, died in a Mississauga motel on Nov. 7.
Peel police have issued a Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of Jerome Derby, 20, of Toronto, in connection with Grant's slaying.