Tampa Residents Need To Do More After Murder Of 4-Year-Old Girl

(AP Photo/Colleen Long)

The murder of a small child is always horrendous. There’s really no other way to put it. There’s never a rationale that holds water in such a case. It’s not like a wife killing her husband because he’s abusive or someone killing a person that was stalking them. Even if it’s murder, we can at least wrap our heads around the reasons why.

Hell, most of us can understand it when the motive is something like money.

But killing a small child? That never sits well. It never should sit well.

It’s definitely not sitting well with the people of Tampa after a four-year-old girl was killed.

One week after a 4-year-old girl was shot and killed in Tampa, community members are calling for an end to gun violence. Dozens of people took to the streets to call for justice as police search for a suspect.

“We have to stop it and we’ve got to do it now,” Triumph Church Pastor Elvis Piggott said.

Sunday, several dozen people came together at the corner of N. 40th Street and Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. It’s just blocks from where little 4-year-old Sunni Bell was shot and killed last Sunday, when a bullet pierced the car she was riding in.

“I have done 17 funerals in the pandemic and none was from COVID,” Piggot said. “Young men that are shot down and young men that are not over 30 years old. Our community is in trouble and I commend people. It’s going to take all of us.”

With signs in hand, demonstrators took to the streets and marched down North 40th Street. Alongside them were several Tampa police officers who came out to not only help with traffic, but to show their support.

Piggott is right, to some degree. It’s going to take everyone.

However, it’s also going to take more than speeches and protests. It’s going to take people talking to the police and telling them what they know. It’s going to take people stepping in and getting their hands dirty with programs that sidetrack people from the lifestyles that would result in them committing such an atrocity.

See, I get frustrated with these kinds of protests not because I think people are wrong to lash out. I get frustrated because they’re pointless.

Absolutely no one supports violent crime of any kind. Even those that carry out such acts don’t really support it. If they did, they’d be OK with these acts being carried out against their mothers or sisters or girlfriends. They don’t.

As such, protests are useless. You’re not going to change any minds because there are no minds to really change. Those who carry out these acts aren’t going to look at a protest and suddenly decide to change their ways.

What needs to happen are calls for the community to step up, which I’ll credit Piggot for doing. You can’t protest violent crime away. You have to change the culture of those who carry out these acts. You have to make sure those that carry out those acts are punished. Additionally, you have to make sure those who carry out these acts aren’t considered heroes by others.

There’s no single thing that will make this stop. It’ll take a varied approach, and it’ll take a whole lot more than holding up protest signs.