East Orange, NJ, June 1, 2017: The City of East Orange is proud to observe the 3rd Annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, June 2, 2017 with a special recognition event to honor of the outstanding bravery of School Resource Officers Segundo Marquez and Christopher Kyer.
The event will take place on the steps of East Orange City Hall at 44 City Hall Plaza, East Orange, NJ on Fri, June 2, 2017 at 9AM. Municipal employees will show their support by wearing orange.
On Nov. 22, 2016, both officers responded to the report of an alleged gun sale near East Orange Campus High School shortly after school dismissal. In the midst of a foot pursuit, the armed suspect fired at the officers, but the officers used their training and immense bravery to subdue and apprehend the suspect without discharging their weapons.
“These officers epitomize what makes the East Orange Police Department one of the finest in the nation,” said Mayor Lester E. Taylor III. “In a situation that easily could have ended in tragedy, the officers exercised extreme restraint and great courage to fulfill their pledge to protect the citizens of the City of East Orange.”
Mayor Taylor also commended the ongoing efforts of EOPD and the East Orange City Council in working cooperatively and proactively to reduce gun violence.
In the first 5 months of 2017, police have already seized 37 illegal guns, preventing what could have been 37 potential gun-related crimes, Taylor said.
East Orange City Council Among First To Pass Legislation to Ban the Sale of Realistic-Looking Toy Guns
In 2015, Council Chair Ted Green sponsored legislation to ban the sale of realistic-looking toy guns in the city in an effort to avoid what happened to Tamir Rice, 12, and Tyree King, 13, both shot and killed in separate incidents in Ohio by police who allegedly mistook their toy guns for the real thing. In July 2015, it was passed by the East Orange City Council with a vote of 9-1.
"Of course, it’s only natural for children to role play, but what we found is that older children, and in some cases, adults were brandishing these toys as real weapons," said Public Safety Director Sheilah Coley said. "Banning the sale of realistic-looking toy guns has helped to eliminate the threat of people using the guns to commit crimes and also has allowed us to protect our citizens - especially our young people - from what could be a matter of life or death.”
About Wear Orange
In 2013, a small group of teens at a South Side Chicago high school asked their classmates to honor the life of their murdered friend Hadiya Pendleton by wearing orange – the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others and the color that reflects the value of human life. They inspired the Wear Orange campaign (wearorange.org), a broad-based coalition of non-profits, cultural influencers, corporate partners and elected officials working to reduce gun violence in America.