Sep. 14-One of the "violence interrupters" hired by the city of Toledo to help address the city's recent spate of shootings has been speaking up in social media in response to news stories.
And his boss thinks he should cool it.
Isaac Miles, 32, one of three people hired in August by the Kapszukiewicz administration, reacted to comments appended to a Blade story posted online Monday, asking them, "What are you guys doing to slow down gun violence?"
To one group of commenters late last week, Mr. Miles said, "We're doing what we're supposed to be doing. Now mind your business."
Ignazio Messina, spokesman for Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, said Mr. Miles should focus on his assigned target areas.
"Our interrupters are going to focus on the communities they are working in and not engage in debates in The Blade comments section. We've spoken to all of the interrupters to focus on the target areas, not social media, because the mayor finds any violence to be deplorable," Mr. Messina said.
He said Mayor Kapszukiewicz and JoJuan Armour, the commissioner of the mayor's gun violence reduction initiative and Mr. Miles' supervisor, did not have time to comment Tuesday.
Mr. Armour was hired in February and the three violence interrupters, all local individuals, were appointed in August. Mr. Miles was hired on Aug. 23 and is paid $43,644 annually, according to Mr. Messina.
Last year, Toledo had a record 61 homicides and has 50 so far in 2021.
The story posted on Toledoblade.com on Monday and in the eBlade on Tuesday recounted a series of shootings over the weekend in which four people were injured by gunshots and seven dwellings were shot up with no one injured. Several people commented sarcastically about the continuing tide of violence.
Said one anonymous commenter: "Kudos to the violence interrupters! Only 4 shot; none killed! Keep up the GREAT work!"
One comment simply posed the statement, "Those violence interrupters ..."
Mr. Isaac's comment, now deleted from the public screen of the story, was "What about them?"
That attracted an anonymous commenter to ask Mr. Miles for details of what the violence interrupters are supposed to be doing.
Mr. Miles introduced himself, saying, "I am a violence interrupter. We get a lot of slack. Honestly. You guys don't understand what we do. We have a Target area we're workin out of of. None of the shootings are actually in four target area.'
A few minutes later, Mr. Miles typed in, "We definitely don't make 70 thousand. For all of u guys giving us [expletive], what are u guys doing to slow down gun violence? I risk my life every time I go out there. We don't do it for the money we do it for our community."
On Friday, Mr. Miles spoke up briefly in reaction to another story, having to do with two shooting deaths.
"We're doing what we're supposed to be doing. Now mind your business," he posted at 1:32 a.m.
Mr. Miles did not respond to an email inquiry for comment.
First Published September 14, 2021, 3:58pm