Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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June 6th, 2014

Local Call for Change

Janette Williams knows firsthand the pain and suffering one goes through when a devastating act of violence happens to a family member. Lives are changed forever.

Janette’s 25-year-old son Carl was shot and killed outside the Shore Gardens Apartments in 2009.

After a six month investigation, David Perkins, 16, and Jacquis Lowery, 17, were charged with felony murder, second-degree manslaughter, first-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Perkins was sentenced to 18 years to life for second-degree murder, and concurrent prison time for robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.

He was the shooter in the murder. Lowery was sentenced on the same charges to 15 years to life in prison.

Knowing that her life changed forever, Janette decided to dedicate her life by uniting people to stop the violence and prevent such crimes from ever happening again.

Janette Williams asks – “When you lose a loved one to an unnecessary act of violence, where do you turn? How do you heal? How do you move forward? Where do you begin?”

Acknowledging that there are many people in her position, Janette told me, “If you’ve also experienced the tragic death of a loved one or know someone who has, those are the questions we are faced with daily. There are many individuals and families in our community who are victims of crime – whether it is assault, murder, burglary, robbery, or any other drug or alcohol-related violations. Though the offenses vary, the need is the same – a need for a safer community, supportive networks, a need for a voice, for compassion, and a need for CHANGE.”

“When Carl was murdered and the police were not getting any cooperation from the public I organized an anti violence march it took place on October 9th 2009. My purpose then was to appeal to the public for help. Shortly afterwards arrest were made. It is now five years since Carl’s death and I wanted to remember him in a meaningful way.”

On Saturday, June 21, 2014 from 11am – 6 pm, Janette, along with the support of the Recovery Center, Detective Will Young, District Attorney Jim Farrell, Sullivan County Legislator Cora Edwards, Monticello Trustees Carmen Rue and Larissa Bennett, along with Monticello Judge Josephine Finn and many other officials will be holding a full day event in Monticello, A LOCAL CALL FOR CHANGE: People Uniting to Take Back Our Community, at De Hoyos Memorial Park on Haye Street in Monticello.

The event will feature a panel of speakers (parents who have lost their children due to acts of violence), a short skit on the importance of good decision-making, festivities for children, and many other activities.

DA Jim Farrell told me, “I hope that the community comes out in force to support the local call for change and unites together, as one, to take back our streets from the violence that has so often plagued them. Too many people have been casualties of the violence and it’s high time to say “NO MORE!”

The way we do that is through our actions and what we teach our children and unite together to make sure that those who engage in violence and harm others are brought to justice. This requires a united community working together towards a common goal of a safe community – law enforcement cannot do it alone.”

Farrell added, “I applaud Janette Williams, who I have the distinct honor of calling my friend, for all of her efforts to make a difference here in Monticello, and all the other community members who have stood up and proclaimed that this is their community and that they have the right to live here in peace. When thinking about what they are doing here in Monticello, I am reminded of the words of a famous author, Margaret Meade, who said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Sullivan County Legislator Cora Edwards, Chair of Public Safety and Law Enforcement Committee said, “We are working to bridge the gaps in our community. We are uniting everyone to send a stronger message to our children: “We care about your safety and well-being. We want you to have a happy and healthy childhood.”

Gladys Walker, commenting on “A Local Call for Change” said, “The reason this event is so important is because we are offered an opportunity to spend time together and laugh, sing, share ideas, respect each other, shake hands, and talk about ways to encourage goodwill. At the end of the day we will leave the event looking forward to the next positive interaction and a commitment to take the next step.”

Fourth and fifth graders, Jarrell, Michael, and De’Narrion of the Monticello’s Cooke School in observing the violence said, “People are dying and it makes us sad.” Kayla, Nikko, Katelynn added, “It’s terrifying, it could happen to anyone. Makes me feel unsafe, people don’t want to go outside.”

Principal Sandra Johnson Fields suggested that “the violence in our community has a direct effect on our schools. Many times the negative behaviors of children in the classrooms are an outward manifestation of repeated exposure to violence and tragedy in the neighborhood and home.”

Although none of us can walk in Janette’s shoes, those of us that have lived through these crimes can relate with her drive to help others.

As many of you know, I too have been on a mission to prevent crimes against the functionally disabled and those who cannot speak for themselves. I have been working hard to pass Paula’s Law, named after my 62 year old sister who was brutally raped in her group home. Paula later died from complications from the rape.

Paula’s Law would place video cameras at the entrances and exits of all New York State Group Homes and Day Programs as a means to prevent abuse and protect both patients and staff.

Support Paula’s Law –

I admire Janette’s resolve, and urge everyone to please attend “A Local Call for Change” on Saturday June 21, 2014 at 11:30 AM.

As Janette points out, in a 2005 Washington Post article, “How to Take Back Our Streets”, the author states, “At the local level, many communities have become trapped in a cycle of reaction: A shocking, highly publicized case rivets the community and the media. It is followed a few days later by a candlelight vigil …then by an emotional funeral at which dignitaries call on the community to take back the streets. Sometimes a stop-the-violence campaign begins. But after about two weeks, the community gets back to business as usual and the media move on to the next tragic event.”

How sad but yet very true.

Janette Williams exclaims, “For Sullivan County it can no longer be business as usual. There is no easy answer, but the sooner we are able to regain our streets, the sooner we’ll be able to heal.”

For further information or how to assist with supplies needed for the “A Local Call for Change” event on Saturday June 21, 2014 at 11:30 AM, please contact Janette Williams at (845) 807-6139 or Lisa Schmidt at (845) 794-8080, ext. 117.

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.


1 comment to Local Call for Change

  • Again I thank you Bill the only thing I would like to add is that there was a third arrest as well Lawrence Watson 23 yrs old is currently serving 22 years to life for his role in Carl’s murder. Lawrence Watson made the phone call to Carl which lured him to the shore gardens area.