NEW ORLEANS — Fighting back tears, Christiana Ford never thought she’d be in this situation again.
“It’s not right, it’s not right,” Ford said. “It’s nothing like losing a child.”
Ford already lost one son to gun violence in Texas. August 5th, she lost another one in New Orleans, when 39-year-old Lamar Ford, was shot on Elysian Fields Avenue.
“This man got out of the car and stood over him and shot him two times in the head,” Ford said.
Ford says her son got out of prison a couple years ago and was turning his life around, helping her with outreach programs at House of Faith Ministries where she pastors. According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Ford’ death is one of more than 180 reported homicides so far this year, a 42 percent increase comparted to this time last year.
“To see our kids getting killed daily on the streets. It’s multiplying. It’s crippling. It’s out of control,” Ford said. “We need help here in New Orleans.”
Her plea for action comes after multiple weekend shootings. One of them, a double shooting at the corner of Canal and N. Claiborne Sunday, left a woman dead and a man injured. As founder of the Silence the Violence Foundation, Ford and fellow members are tired of seeing crime scene tape.
“It used to be just our neighborhoods, but now it’s your neighborhoods. It’s everybody’s neighborhood now,” member Vanessa Holden said.
The steps Lamar Ford was sitting on when he was killed is next door to his mother’s house and two doors down from the church where she pastors. Across the street is a crime camera. As of Monday, the NOPD had no updates on the case or a suspect. Ford worries there never will be.
“Every day, all day, somebody is being killed,” Ford said. “That tells me it’s easy to kill and it’s easy to get away with it.”
It’s not easy to get away from the pain of losing her son, who leaves behind a 9-year-old son of his own. Fords knows she doesn’t have all the answers but says community and city leaders must do a better job for change to happen.
“It’s my child now. Whose child is it going to be next,” Ford said. “We must come together and let these criminals know they’re not taking over the streets.”