Holding parents accountable - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Holding parents accountable

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Jerry Robinson, a Wellington Heights resident, saw some of what occurred near his home Sunday afternoon. "All I seen was kids running, and next thing you know, I seen police come flying up in here," said Robinson, pointing down the 1400 block of 5th Avenue SE.

Police say that's where officers on foot patrol saw two groups of juveniles approaching each other Sunday afternoon, ready to fight. When the officers approached, the group scattered.

Officers chased 17-year old Charles Wise, Jr., who they say took a threatening stance toward them. Police say that's when one officer used his taser on Wise.

Police Chief Greg Graham says it's the most recent incident in an increase of juvenile-related crime, including a string of windows shot out with pellet guns, an alleged assault on a 9-year old, and an attack on Officer Tim Davis, who is still recovering from head injuries.

"Most of the violent crime that's been committed here in Cedar Rapids, it appears as though it's been done by juveniles," Graham said in an interview on Monday. Graham says parents taking a more active role in their kids lives would be a step in the right direction. "We've got to do more to get parents to be more responsible for their kids."

Robinson, who raised his children here, agrees. "I wouldn't blame all kids, but I think it would be better if parents would be more involved."

Chief Graham says there are programs and solutions out there to help parents who may not be able to control their kids, and he'll be looking to the community in the coming weeks to figure out what those solutions are.

The Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission is holding a community forum Tuesday night, on how to solve neighborhood violence. Chief Graham will be one of the panelists. It will be at St. Paul's United Methodist Church at 6 PM.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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