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Opinion: No justice for Jakyri

My Future, My Choice: Victim advocate shares opinion on social media

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MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Miami activist Tangela Sears can't get over an experience in the courtroom last week. As she often does, she was there to support a Miami mom who is mourning the loss of her 15-year-old son who died of gunshot wounds last year. 

A teenager playing with a gun killed Jakyri Fleurimar in August at a home, 5321 NW 27 Pl., in Miami's Brownsville. Sears said on social media that she and his mom, Shantel Muffy Dixon, were in pain during a recent court proceeding. Attorneys referred to the killing as "a mistake," Sears said. 

A "teen with [a] gun [possession charge] is a misdemeanor," Sears wrote on Facebook Thursday. "Last week I stood in a courtroom as the defense attorney and state [prosecutor] argued if he should serve three days for having a gun."

Sears said that if the teen -- who shot Jakyri with his father's gun -- serves the three days, he is entitled to withheld adjudication, meaning the judge could order sanctions, but would not convict the defendant of a criminal offense. 

The boy's father left the loaded gun that the teen was playing with in a drawer, police said.  

"This is how the kid got the gun and because the state [prosecutor] doesn't want to put a child on the stand to testify against his father, the case is closed," Sears said. "This is the [expletive]  we deal with. I was in so much pain, I walked out of the courtroom."

Just as Sears was dealing with this case, Taveris Rhodes, 14, was shot. It was another case of children playing with guns. The Feb. 17 crime scene was at a home in Miami Gardens.

This is not a Local 10 News Editorial. The activist's opinion is presented as a voice in the community during the Local 10 News' #MyFutureMyChoice campaign on the hunt for solutions to the gun violence challenge.