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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney



 

 

 



(Updated 10:30 a.m., April 9)
Hundreds turn out to take part in Jasmine Crescent unity march

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Marchers carrying 'Our City Supports Jasmine' signs take part in Sunday's walk in support of the east end community. Photo supplied

In a massive demonstration of neighbours supporting neighbours, close to 250 people turned out in support of the Jasmine Crescent community on Sunday in a walk of solidarity.

The event was organized by Beacon Hill, Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney as part of his ongoing effort to make the community safer following a series of homicides over the past 12 months.

Local resident and Gloucester High School student Connor Stevenson, 18, was stabbed to death in April 2015.

Five months later, Issaiah Clashar, 17, was stabbed to death outside a Jasmine Crescent apartment building not far from where Stevenson was killed. Then in December an unidentified man was shot in the chest, arms and legs in a suspected attempted murder on nearby Arrowsmith Drive.

The most recent murder was committed in the middle of Jasmine Crescent in the early evening hour on March 8. Nooredin Hassan, 20, died after being shot in the head by an unidentified assailant across from Lester B. Pearson High School. Police have yet to identify a possible suspect in that incident.

On Sunday, more than 250 people gathered near the spot where Hassan was killed before setting off along Jasmine Crescent to Gloucester High School. Among the marchers were Hassan's parents Sherif Abdulle and Maryam Hassan.

"We need a strong hand for these guys, We have the killers of these Children," said Abdulke.

More than a dozen community groups joined the march including the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre, the Gloucester Islamic Society, the North Gloucester Giants Football Club, the Gloucester Centre Hockey Association, and the Somali Mothers Association.

Before they set out, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson promised the marchers and the residents of Jasmine Crescent that the situation would improve with their help.

"We're not going to tolerate a bunch of criminals coming into our neighbourhood and shooting and stabbing and killing people. It's not acceptable," Mayor Watson told the crowd. "(But) we can't have the police on every street corner 24 hours a day. We need your help."

Tierney echoed the Mayor's words, saying that if residents don't feel comfortable calling the police they should call Crime Prevention Ottawa, or Crimestoppers, instead.

The local councillor also pointed to several positive steps that have taken place since Hassan's death, up to and including Sunday's march.

“We have people talking to each other that have never spoken before. You can see the energy. It is not going to stop here. It can’t be status quo,” says Tierney.

At the end of the walk a meeting was held in Gloucester High School where a number of the community groups had set up information tables.

Efforts are already being made to establish a Neighbourhood Watch program and Tierney is pushing for an increased police presence in the community in the form of stepped up foot and bike patrols.

Ottawa Police Const. Brad Burleau has formed a safety committee with representatives from community groups and the area condo associations. Burleau and several other community officers are also organizing a community barbecue in Jasmine Park on May 18.

Beacon Hill, Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney (left) and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson show their support for the Jasmine Cres. community. Photo supplied

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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