Paterson Top Stories

A Packed House Attends Documentary on Paterson Violence

cc6c19a1120646bc9c7e_CAM00092.jpg
6579bc092716d0cfaee2_CAM00084.jpg
cc6c19a1120646bc9c7e_CAM00092.jpg

 

PATERSON, NJ – Teddy Martinez says he has been shot 11 times. Jamal Hall recalls the students lost to violence when he was a teacher at Eastside High School. Robert Harrell holds peace rallies to try to steer Paterson teenagers away from gangs.

The three of them channeled their experiences on Paterson’s streets into a documentary, “Death By Design,” that debuted last Thursday at the Fabian 8 at Center City Mall. The theater was almost filled to capacity.

Sign Up for E-News

Tom Curry was among the city residents who came out to see the film. He said the documentary gave him a sense of hopelessness and he said he could understand why some would say the violence afflicting city streets is by design.

But Curry also said he believes that the solution should be by design as well.  “I was impressed by the one speaker that said it’s going to have to start one block at a time, block by block by block, that’s a design to me,” said Curry.

Another Patersonian, Jeremy Jones, said he thought the documentary was informative. Jones said he has had four friends die on 12th Avenue from violence.  He said he himself has been shot, robbed and pistol-whipped.

Incarceration, Jones said, changed his life. After being released from jail, Jones said he has gone to college and worked for five years for an ambulance company. He also has his own business.

“They say it takes a village to raise a kid and it does,’’ said Jones, “but if you don’t have no one there, they’re just going to turn into savages and that’s pretty much what it is.”

“I was raised in an era where you fought,’’ he added. “These kids are out here just grabbing guns and killing them which is what they think is easy and I just don’t really understand it.”

Martinez and Harrell produced the film, while Hall directed it.

Hall said he has seen his own share of violence.  “It’s crazy and it’s sad because I was a teacher at Eastside High School in Paterson for 12 years and I saw a lot of kids go,” he said. “Shot. Killed. Gone. I’d have a kid come to class three months and just disappear. Don’t know what happened. Same thing with females.”

“So the violence hurts and hits home because you get to work with these kids and work real close with them and they go and that’s it,” said Hall.

Harrell hopes his community work with youths might steer some in the right direction. “Maybe this will change something,’’ Harrell said, “when they think back and say, ‘You know what, I did three or four peace rallies with Mr. H. and why am I going to do this?’ when that person puts that gun in their hand and says, ‘I want you to take somebody’s life for me.’’’

The documentary was Martinez’ idea. “I’ve seen a lot of death in our community,’’ he said, “a lot of violence, I myself am a victim of violence, I was shot 11 times.”

In Martinez’ opinion, the state of the inner city is no accident.  “Honestly speaking, I feel that in certain situations that it is designed for us to continue to be inside the struggle,’’ he said. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Paterson Resident Says Let Inauguration of Governor Murphy be an Example for Paterson

January 16, 2018

Dear Editor, 

Today I witnessed the awesome, solemn and peaceful transfer of power from Governor Chris Christie to Governor Phil Murphy thanks to the generous invitation of Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly.

Indeed, this was my first State of New Jersey Governor's inauguration. It was a thrill and an honor to be in attendance.  These are the days that you can truly say that you ...

Passaic County Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara Teams With Local Non-Profit to Help Homeless

January 18, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Passaic County Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara partnered with Paterson based non-profit Global Emergency Response and Assistance (GERA) to honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King by distributing blankets and hot food donated by Al Basha Restaurant to homeless residents in Passaic on Tuesday.

GERA Founder and Director Sikandar Khan said that the organization was established to ...

Paterson’s Dr. Christopher Irving Resigns from Board of Education to Serve in Adminstration of Governor Phil Murphy

January 17, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Just over 24 hours after taking the oath of office New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has added a Paterson voice to his Administration.

Dr. Christopher Irving, a member of the Paterson Board of Education for nearly eight years, has been appointed as Assistant Commissioner of Education. His role, Irving told TAPinto Paterson, is still evolving but might include helping to ...

Special Needs Prom to be Sponsored by Tim Tebow Foundation

January 20, 2018

NEW JERSEY – Young adults ages 14 and older with special needs are invited to a very special prom night experience, courtesy of the Tim Tebow Foundation.

The foundation will be sponsoring its annual Night To Shine prom at locations across northern New Jersey on Feb. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Attendees can ride to the event in a limousine, they will be treated to hair and makeup treatments, ...

Drink Your Way to a Healthier 2018

January 13, 2018

It’s that time of year again, just 13 days in and you’ve probably already broken that New Year’s Resolution.  “New Year, New Me” has already gone out the window! This will be the year where we actually start going to the gym regularly and eating healthier.  Not so fast!. However, it’s not too late to get back on track, and while fitness and a healthy ...