The murder of 14 year old schoolboy Jaden Moodie made national headlines. He was buried on Friday 22nd February. His friend and classmate Tanner, a member of EYLA, is calling for his death to be a catalyst for change in the black community.
Interviewed by The Sun on Sunday - less than an hour after emerging from the funeral - Tanner described Jaden as a “quiet and generous boy, not necessarily the person portrayed by some media outlets. Perhaps it’s easier for society to portray the killing as his fault in some way because the alternative is to accept that there is a something wrong in wider society which we all need to play a part in solving.”
Following the funeral and interview, Tanner joined many of the Eastside community who spent two hours debating the issue of knife crime. Fitzroy Andrew opened the meeting and outlined that “There is now a level of urgency because last year youth murders in London reached 24 (aged 19 or under) - the highest level of murders since 2008 - and we are not even counting those youngsters who were injured. The answers are not straightforward so it’s important that the conversation continues.”
Black history and culture expert Andrew Muhammed urged community leaders to come forward, quoting George the Poet: “.... if 50 of us take a stand we can change London.” Eastside student Deshawn Gordon, 14, told the crowd: “I live in Tottenham and even at 6ft 5ins I’m deeply mindful of issues of my own safety. I’m careful where I go and when - even the journey to school carries risk.” Omar Hassan added: “People talk about absent fathers but the real reason black youths are killing each other are bound up in poverty, lack of opportunity, the economy and the education system.”
Finally, Ray Lewis concluded the meeting with a poignant, final mention of Jaden Moodie. He said: “They buried that young man today. All of us have a stake in the loss. These are all our children and we will either pay or profit by what they become.”