JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville mother who believes city leaders have failed to honor promises about curbing gun violence lashed out at them Monday morning at City Hall as an event marking the start of National Crime Victims' Rights Week ended.
Latasha Hobbs waited quietly in the back of the atrium until the mayor, sheriff and other city leaders had wrapped up their event.
But then she had plenty to say to them all.
“You don’t care about the survivors in Jacksonville,” an emotional Hobbs shouted, her voice echoing inside the atrium. “You don’t care to help prevent crime, because if you did, my son would still be here.”
Hobbs' son, Maurice Hobbs Jr., an up-and-coming rapper, was killed days after his 18th birthday in a January 2017 double shooting that still has not been solved.
She said the mayor and others made promises to her to help tackle the problem of gun violence in Jacksonville, but she said those promises have been forgotten and she does not believe anything has changed when it comes to crime in the River City.
“Shame on them,” Hobbs said. “If they did care about survivors, if they did care to stop gun violence, if they did care to honor, to show support for me and my son, they would close the gun show loophole. They have done nothing to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”
Mayor Lenny Curry said he understands her anger but defended his record.
“I have honored those promises, and I’m going to keep fighting for those people,” Curry said. “I can’t imagine being a parent having lost a child. But what I’m going to do is keep getting up every day and fighting for Jacksonville.”
Several events are planned in honor of Crime Victims' Rights Week in Jacksonville, including a public meeting at the Legends Center seeking input on the Task Force on Crime.