• Examining the impact of gun violence on Central Florida communities

    By: Daralene Jones

    Updated:

    9 Investigates continues an ongoing look at gun violence in Central Florida.

    Investigative reporter Daralene Jones breaks down the impact gun violence is having on African American communities in Central Florida Monday on Channel 9 Eyewitness News.

    State hospital records and medical examiners reports spanning from 2014 show there have been 6,025 gun injuries and deaths in Central Florida during that time frame. 

    The vast majority of victims, between 86 and 91 percent, are African American men, according to the data. 

    "When we see black lives that are taken in the streets every day by gun violence, there is no collective political action. But when something happens in Parkland that impacted white, mostly affluent students, then suddenly politicians were scrambling to slap legislation together," said Democratic state Rep. Carlos Smith. 

    Smith pushed for gun reform during the 2018 legislative session but failed to secure its passage.  

    The Republican-controlled Legislature did pass a measure allowing teachers to be armed in response to the Parkland high school mass shooting. 

    "We have some changes in the culture, where we've wound up with some many more broken families, and broken lives. It's the whole stability structure of the family, and the community that has put things more at risk. But by banning firearms, you're taking the law-abiding people in the black community and making them helpless to the gangs," said Republican state Sen. Dennis Baxley (R). 

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