01/18/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/18/2021 00:50
'My heart is broken with the loss of my friend Dante Barksdale, a beloved leader in our community who committed his life to saving lives in Baltimore. He was the heart and soul of Safe Streets, where he worked for 9 years. His death is a major loss to Safe Streets, the communities they serve, and the entire City of Baltimore. I send my deepest condolences and prayers to Dante's family in this tragic time.
While I am devastated by the loss of my Brother in the fight to save lives in Baltimore, I will not let those who chose to violently take his life dampen the light of his work. The work that Dante did, and the work that so many in Safe Streets and other street-based organizations do to actively interrupt violence, is critical to my priority of reducing violence and making Baltimore's neighborhoods safer.
Safe Streets and other community-based violence interventions are effective. They save lives. Dante's work saved lives. This is a sobering reminder of how dangerous this frontline work is. We must be steadfast in our commitment to continuing this work, investing in it, and making it more effective for a safer Baltimore.'Shantay Jackson, Director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement issued the following statement:
'Dante was not only a respected Safe Streets team member, but a beloved friend to so many in Baltimore. He turned his life around and worked tirelessly for nearly a decade to prevent gun violence in our communities by working with those who were at the highest risk of being a shooter or the victim of shooting. Our office mourns this senseless loss of life with the rest of Baltimore City and is committed to honoring his life and his light by continuing to work to end gun violence in our city once and for all.'Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison released the following statement:
'The men and women of the Baltimore Police Department offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Dante Barksdale. His work in outreach, mediating conflicts and reducing gun violence in our city was invaluable and he embodied a message of redemption and peace to the many young people of our city.'