The following is commentary from Fox16 News Director Austin Kellerman:
I didn’t want to believe the headline when I saw it on Mitch McCoy’s twitter account. Someone shot and killed a 3-year-old in Little Rock.
There’s probably no time in life when a person is more innocent…more cute…more curious…more alive. And for one family, all that was stolen.
If that wasn’t sad enough, this comes just weeks after someone shot and killed a 2-year-old under similar circumstances. In both cases, someone drove up next to a vehicle, fired shots, and shattered a future.
Two toddlers. Two Lives. Too much.
A few months ago, Nexstar Broadcasting Little Rock General Manager Mike Vaughn came to me following a crime spree involving juveniles. He challenged me to develop a station initiative where we get involved in the community to help stop it. We wouldn’t just tell stories or run promos; we’d try to do something concrete.
And I didn’t do a damn thing.
There were other projects to get to. There were other things that needed to be addressed. We all have things we put on the back burner and that’s exactly where I placed this.
That was a mistake. And it’s time to fix it.
That’s where you come in. As a television station, we have a powerful voice in Little Rock. We have a responsibility to be a conduit for change that might be needed in Central Arkansas. We will do something. The question: what do we do?
It can’t just be a story or two. A special broadcast isn’t enough. A typical town hall meeting won’t do the trick. It needs to be something with the potential to make a long-term impact, bring justice to affect families, and keep this from happening in the future.
We need to figure it out. We need to make it happen. We want you to be a part of the solution.
Attending church Sunday morning in New Orleans, a city that’s seen more than its share of crime, this issue was at the top of my mind. I’d even consider it a distraction. I was sad. I was frustrated. I was angry. And then, as I searched for an answer or sign of some sort, a prayer offered by Archbishop Gregory Aymond put me at peace:
“Loving and faithful God…we implore you to give us your wisdom that we may build a community founded on the values of Jesus, which gives respect to the life and dignity of all people.
Bless parents that they may form their children in faith. Bless and protect our youth that they may be peacemakers of our time. Give consolation to those who have lost loved ones through violence. Hear our prayer and give us the perseverance to be a voice for life and human dignity in our community.”
We can not just sit back. It’s time to be a voice.
What can my colleagues and I do to make a difference? Send your suggestions and ideas to email@example.com. I’ll keep you updated on what we choose to do and how we proceed.