CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland Councilman Basheer Jones, who represents the city’s 7th Ward, recently met with the family of 11-year-old Tyshaun Taylor.
Taylor was shot and killed over the weekend while attending a birthday party hosted by a 16-year-old. The party was at an apartment complex in the 1800 block of E. 97th Street.
Police have not made an arrest in the case.
A vigil is planned for Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Chambers Elementary. It’s the school Taylor attended.
Jones spoke during Monday night’s council meeting about his conversation with Taylor’s mother.
“To sit there and listen and to experience the sobs of this mother, it was one of the toughest moments I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Jones said.
The councilman said the loss of Taylor due to gun violence highlights deficiencies in local government and the community. He said it’s time for elected leaders and the community to be bold in finding solutions to problems ranging from safety to the environment.
“Where are we going? And, what impact to we have it?,” Jones posed to those in council chambers.
Jones reminded those gathered of the words of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“He said that there comes a time when silence is betrayal," Jones said. “How are we making sure our communities are safe? Because the trauma that mother (is experiencing)... as I said to her, ‘It’s going to be easier for us to assist you in making sure that that baby is buried.'"
Jones continued, “But the hardest problem is going to be addressing the trauma that will exist for her other son who watched his brother be shot and killed.”
The councilman said going into 2020, there needs to be a clear vision from all leaders.
″We all play a part. We are all accountable for making this city a better place. The question we have to ask ourself as a city- is what decisions are we making? And, we have to be courageous. We can’t have fear of whatever."
Taylor’s family is still finalizing funeral services. A GoFundMe has been established to assist the family.
Taylor’s aunt, Nita Moore, said her nephew had a big heart.
“We just want everyone to know he was a good kid,” Moore said. “He had goals and a huge heart. He was great in school and his mom loved him more than life. It’s imperative we do more to protect our children in this city."
Moore said Taylor was a typical kid.
“He was a good soul, and we lost something we can never get back,” Moore said.
She stressed that violence is not a race or socioeconomic issue- but one that affects all people in the community.
“It’s not about color or status. We have babies dying, and we need to do something,” Moore said.