Sepulveda Calls on Lawmakers to Take Action
NEW YORK– In the wake of the horrible murder of an innocent teenager by gang members, a Bronx lawmaker is urging state officials to address the epidemic of youth violence.
“Several adolescent mental health and youth violence prevention bills passed the Senate this month without action by the New York State Assembly,” said State Senator Luis Sepulveda.
“The vicious and horrific murder of Leasandro (Junior) Guzman-Feliz is an attack on the foundations of our civil society. The murder of this child is a primitive and heinous act that can not be allowed to go unpunished to the fullest extent of our laws,” said Sepulveda. “I can not bear to watch the surveillance video of the end of this child’s life. Thankfully, the animals that did this are under arrest.”
On June 20, Guzman-Feliz was dragged out of the Belmont bodega after being wrongly identified. On the street he was stabbed in the neck by a group of gang members. He ran to St. Barnabas Hospital where he collapsed and died.
On Monday, Kevin Alvarez, 19, was charged with second degree murder and gang assault.
Investigators believe Guzman was murdered as a case of mistaken identity. Gang members allegedly believed Guzman was involved in a sex tape with a 15-year-old girl.
Cops say that not only was the victim not involved in the sex tape, he was a good kid who joined the police youth explorers program with dreams of becoming a police officer.
Sepulveda says that Guzmans’ horrific murder highlights the need for lawmakers to move to address youth violence.
“For the past two years, the New York State Senate has passed legislation to create a statewide task force to review the epidemic of youth violence in our State and to make concrete recommendations for lawmakers to fund and enact into law.
“Yet even in the face of all this violence, this legislation has failed to move in the lower house. The same holds true for proposals to strengthen the mental health services we can provide to our youth who are being terrorized by all this violence,” declared Senator Sepulveda.
“The beginning of the 2018 summer season has started full of deadly violence and death for our children,” noted the Senator. “Albany can’t leave all these communities across the state to stand alone against such violence and evil, and must take action to support them.”