A string of shootings in Chattanooga in the last two months prompted a group of women to call publicly for parents to do their jobs and be good role models for their children.
“I want accountability,” Carla Eliott said Friday in front of City Hall on East 11th Street. “I’m challenging all women to put your right foot down. Put your left foot down and take back the children that belong to us.”
The streets don’t take young people, someone gives them away, she said.
Elliott was among about a dozen women who met at City Hall to challenge women to take authority in their homes and help put a stop to violence in the community.
“I’m 4 feet 11, seventy-eight pounds of thunder in my house,” Elliott said. “God gave my daughter to me and her father to oversee, but I can’t be your mother if I’m [racing you to get] inside the same nightclub. I don’t want to party with you. I want to raise you. I want to set an example for you.”
Demetrus Menifee and Angel Kellogg formed the group Women Against Violence by networking with other women on the social networking site Facebook.
Menifee said she was motivated to start the group after the death of her fiancee, Terrance Etchison, who was shot in 2010 at the Kanku gas station on Wilcox Boulevard.
The group’s news conference was held just an hour after 23-year-old Tracy Long Jr. was shot in the leg during a gang-related incident at 1700 Wilson St., according to police.
Forty-year-old Brenda Williams said she thought she had seen the worst of times in September 1993 when her mother was shot to death while sitting in her home. The shooter accidentally shot her mother while trying to hit another boy, she said.
“When I was their age, I knew to respect my elders,” Williams said. “Now you’re scared to say something to young people, because you don’t know how they will retaliate.”
She faulted her generation for youth being out of control because parents too often have chosen to be their children’s friends.
Elliott called on parents to set better examples for their children.
“A child cannot do unless he knows how to do,” she said. “A child cannot do unless an example has been set.”
Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...