"Gracias por tomar el tiempo a nuestros hijos a darles un rumbo diferente a la vida."
"Thank you for taking the time to give our children a different course in life."
-Padre de un cliente de LCJP / -Parent of an LCJP client
Dear LCJP community member,
Almost daily, we hear tragic accounts of deaths related to gun violence that could have been avoided.
Alex and Jose, both 14 years old, were part of an incident that could have ended that way. Fortunately, due to the professional response of Longmont police and LCJP's restorative justice process, these two Longmont teenagers are safe and will likely never make the same mistake that put them at risk again.
Two teenage girls watched from across the park as Alex and Jose chased each other on bikes, waving Airsoft (pellet) pistols in the air. Thinking the guns were real, the girls left the park and saw the boys riding towards them, prompting the girls to call 911. All available on-duty police were sent to the park in response to a report of a possible active shooter.
The first officer on scene arrived to find Alex with a bandana covering his face, and what appeared to be a handgun tucked into his waistband.
The interaction between the officer, Alex, and Jose was tense until the officer could verify that the weapons were not real guns. Fortunately, Alex and Jose took responsibility for their actions, and the officer saw an opportunity for a meaningful LCJP referral instead of charging the boys with menacing with a weapon, a felony-level offense.
At the restorative justice conference, the boys shared that they had been unaware of how they had frightened others. Alex and Jose's parents, communicating through an interpreter, expressed alarm and confusion about the severity of the police response since their children had only been playing at the park with legally purchased toys.
The ripple effects of harm caused by the incident extended to parents wondering if their boys had been targeted.
At the conference, the officer demonstrated how the police had responded, helping the boys' parents reach a new level of understanding. In addition to apology and reflection projects, Alex and Jose participated in a gun safety course designed specifically for responsible individuals referred to LCJP.
Restorative justice enables all participants to voice their needs, questions, and hopes, and offers a platform through which all parties may experience healing and transformed perspectives.
Help increase inclusivity in the LCJP Process!
We are seeking to raise $10,000 for interpretation equipment and services to better serve our Spanish-speaking clients.
We could not do provide this service without the support of our donors, community members, and partners. Thank you so much for making restorative justice possible!
Find out more about our service to the community at www.lcjp.org.