The savage attack on an elderly man, which Syracuse Police blame on an 18 year-old man who is now under arrest, has triggered anger in the community. As news of the arrest in the weekend attack spread, one woman summed up the feelings of many people. Worletta Clemons went on a tirade about parental responsibility: "Get your kids," she repeated over and over again. "Get your kids, or the police will," Clemons said. You can click here to watch her comments.
Clemons, of Berger Avenue in Syracuse, lost her son to gun violence on April 5, 2006. Her son, Jemar Shepherd, was shot to death in what police described as a drug deal gone bad. "I've seen it all, first it was drug deals and now they're beating up on older people. There is no way to explain that," Clemons told CBS 5's Michael Benny. "I lost my only son to violence, and I'll never get over it," she explained.
Ultimately, a Grand Jury concluded that the man who was arrested for shooting Clemons' son acted in self defense.
Now Clemons is suddenly finding favor with those who watch her "Get Your Kids" comments. On the CNYCentral Facebook page, Jolene Barrett Stoeckel watched the video clip and wrote, "I think she's dead on. If the parents aren't raising them the streets are. My kids hate me every day because I won't let them run the streets, and they can keep hating me until they grow up and realize it was for their own good."
David M. Campbell also watched the video on the CNYCentral Facebook page. He writes, "Excellent! It's all about taking responsibility for ourselves as parents and properly raising our children to respect and value others. Kudos to this lady for speaking out in an eloquent manner and offering a constructive solution."
Parents need to open up their eyes, Clemons says. "You know what your kid is doing, you know if they are into drugs, you know if they are disrespectful - and it's up to you as the parent to stop it."
In the recent case of the attack on a 70 year-old man outside a Syracuse 7-Eleven, Clemons is puzzled about the suspect: "What are you doing out at 6:00 a.m. in the morning? You're not going to school, you're not going to work? Do your parents have any idea what you're doing?" Clemons thinks the answer is no.