Mourning Ronald Mcphatter Victim of Irving Plaza Shooting --Jumaane Williams

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In photo from newspaper article, from left: Shanduke Mcphatter, GMAAC, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, and Ronald "Edgar" Mcphatter.

[Op-Ed]

It's with a heavy heart that I offer my prayers of peace and comfort to my friend Shanduke Mcphatter and his family over the loss of his younger brother Ronald "Edgar" Mcphatter last night in a shooting at Irving Plaza.
Friends also knew him by his nicknames, "Suave" or "Banger," because of his prowess in sports.
None of us are immune to the effects of gun violence; not even Shanduke and his brother, who have been on the front lines of gun violence awareness. They worked together to intervene in the most delicate of situations to ensure that at risk youth did not turn to violence as a solution.
I remember Ronald walking with us late nights talking to young men and women in an effort to steer them away from making bad, life-altering decisions.
It pains me that he lost his life to gun violence, which is an issue he worked every day to fight against. Through his organization GMACC, Shanduke spends his days working with families affected by gun violence tragedies. Our hearts go out to Shanduke and his family as they now need our support.
I want to make it clear that the last thing Ronald would want to take place in response to his death are acts of retaliation or street justice on his behalf. Even through mourning and anger, his brother Shanduke is showing the strength and courage of his conviction by echoing this sentiment.
Ronald's death is proof there is a long way to go in fixing this gun violence epidemic. This disease and epidemic of gun violence has a deceptive lure. We have to take this seriously, and tackle it with constant attention and resources. Too many lives are unnecessarily lost over minor disputes and recklessness.
If the world won't take this issue by the rein and look for a solution, then let us, in our own communities, work together to put an end to all of this senseless tragedy. As gun violence awareness month fast approaches, let us remember the lives lost so we can be inspired to preserve the future.
We stand with you peace warrior Shanduke in this time of unbearable pain. Rest-In-Peace brother Ronald.

Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), Deputy Leader, represents the 45th Council District.

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