‘I’m tired;’ Overwhelming violence pushes DJ Jubilee away from mentoring, coaching New Orleans kids
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - For 45 years, Jerome Temple, also known as DJ Jubilee, has coached and mentored New Orleans’ at-risk youth, but the city’s violence has now become too much for him.
“Seeing these kids lose their life so quick... and then you don’t have an answer for it. Crime is here, and I’m done,” says DJ Jubilee.
Jubilee’s lost 39 young athletes over the years to violence and now he says the at-risk youth seem unreachable.
“I still talk to kids. I try to encourage them, but I can’t do how I want to do because they leave me no room. You talk to them today, and they are in jail tomorrow. We have a serious problem,” says Jubilee.
New Orleans made national headlines by becoming the deadliest city per capita in the country - something Jubilee says he saw coming for a while.
“We’re killing every day. It’s every single day,” says Jubilee.
Despite leading the nation in homicides per capita, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell says the national designation of “murder capital” doesn’t sit right with her.
“I don’t embrace it at all. The data that is used is on government terms for that, and not based on what is actually happening,” says Mayor Cantrell.
“You lose 39 young kids to violence while coaching football, and that’s not a problem? Nobody listened to me then,” says Jubilee.
More: New Orleans mayor doesn’t ‘embrace’ city’s title as ‘murder capital’ of U.S.
According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, the NOPD has investigated 216 murders so far this year - just two murders away from the 218 killings in all of 2021.
“Statistics are there. Crime is there, but nobody wants to say it’s there and that’s another situation on its own,” says Jubilee.
LSU Health Criminologist Peter Scharf says it’s counter-productive to deny the crime data.
“I have tremendous respect for the Mayor, but if we can’t agree on the numbers, how are we going to fix anything,” says Scharf. “We’ve got to face what the facts are.”
“The turnaround has got to start with trust. You have to believe this is fixable, and you’ve got to start with a common understanding of the facts.”
Jubilee says he hoped his message would be heard after experiencing so much loss, but nothing changed. Instead, he says, things have only gotten worse.
“I did all I can do. So, if anybody hears this message, if I say I’m tired, I’m tired,” says Jubilee.
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