November 23, 2019, Washington, D.C. - Today, Brady mourns the murder of Clarence Venable, a violence interrupter, in Washington, D.C. Venable was leaving a meeting for Cure the Streets, a program that works to reduce violence through community-based solutions. Violence interrupters are individuals embedded in communities across D.C., where they host events and work with individuals to help prevent and resolve conflict before it turns into violence.
Brady Vice President of Policy Christian Heyne shared:
“Yesterday’s murder is a tragic example of the everyday violence that affects communities across the United States. Clarence Venable was aware of the risks he was taking and was committed to stopping violence in his community. That he was murdered coming back from a meeting on community-based solutions to violence is a sad reminder that gun violence affects all of us and all of our communities and can occur at any time. Clarence’s work is a reminder that we need more efforts like Cure the Streets and the Violence Interrupters to help stop gun violence before it occurs.”
Clarence Venable worked as a violence interrupter, going into communities and schools to work with residents to help identify risks and find solutions before violence could occur.
Tyreese McAllister, a crisis response therapist and mother whose daughter Ayana was killed by gun violence in Washington, D.C., stated:
“As a crisis response therapist, I cannot overemphasize the important work that the violence interrupters do. As a mother who lost her daughter to gun violence, I am saddened that another family and community is forced to face a loss to gun violence. Clarence Venable dedicated his time to helping his community heal and to prevent violence from ever occurring. The irresponsible use and access to guns continues to fuel violence across the D.C. region, we need to stop the violence that this access allows to continue unchecked. Clarence’s work is an important reminder of the solutions needed to heal communities and stop violence from ever occurring. We need more Clarence Venables.”
Cure the Streets is a violence interruption program launched in 2018 by the Office of the Attorney General of Washington D.C. The program works in two sites in the city and helps to combat violence through community-based solutions that interrupt violence, treat individuals and change behaviors. Cure the Streets trains violence interrupters, who go into the community to work with individuals and stop violence.
Violence Interrupters are an official program of the D.C. Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement. The program is one of the city’s initiatives to address crime and violence through community pathways and other methods aside from policing.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.