In the aftermath of the savage beating of an elderly man, allegedly at the hands of an 18 year old with a violent criminal past, one woman's call to "get your kids" is resonating throughout the City of Syracuse.
On Monday, Worletta Clemons told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that parents need to take responsibility for their children, "everybody is on TV saying, we need the community to raise your kids. That's what's wrong...the community is raising them. Get your kids...get your kids."
After hundreds of people responded to Clemon's remarks on social media, we found out that she was speaking not only as a mother, but also as a victim. On April 5, 2006, Worletta Clemons son, Jemar Shepard was shot and killed during what police called a drug deal gone bad. Clemons finds it difficult to admit that her son was a drug dealer who had served time in prison. A Grand Jury determined that the person who shot Shepard was acting in self defense.
On Tuesday, Worletta Clemons said, "I go through depression daily." But she says since her son's death, "I see things more clearly." She says parents need to spend time with their children, "That's what it's about, being there."
Clemons was upset by much of the rhetoric coming from public officials in response to the assault on 70 year old James Gifford. "I heard nobody making the parents responsible. I heard the community has got to pull together. No, just get your kids."