Click on the link to view video: The 904
Jacksonville, Florida, has been the Sunshine State’s murder capital for the last nine years. According to the FBI’s newly released Violent Crime Report, Jacksonville recorded a 22% increase in violent crimes last year- more than any other Southern city. Why is Jacksonville, not Miami or Tampa, Florida’s murder capital? What historic and socioeconomic factors are contributing to the city’s current crisis? How will Duval County – The 904 – (for the city’s 904 area code) successfully address the murder epidemic that is threatening the very future of the city? The 904 has documented the real-life story of a city’s effort to stem the tide of violence threatening to consume it. And at the center of it all is a woman named Beverly McClain. They found his body in the Ribault River, she says of her son, Andre Johnson, who was murdered. His killer was never found. “My boy had been missing for days, and the neighbors said, ‘If you want to get him, he’s floating in the river,'” she said. Beverly still doesn’t know who killed her son, but what she does know is that too many mothers are losing sons, and daughters, to violence in her city. Her dream is to continue the operation of a center for grieving families, providing a formalized network of support and healing as they try to come to grips with the unendurable. But there is little money and minimum support from the city’s powerful to help her maintain resources to operate Families of Slain Children, Inc. in the heart of Jacksonville’s most violent neighborhood. However, The 904 followed Beverly McClain as she comforted grieving mothers, consulted with police officers tracking down the latest killer, and tirelessly worked to raise funds and awareness to realize her dream of bringing comfort to other mothers like herself. The 904 key focus is on several main characters and follows real people through the narrative arc of the film to show how violent crime impacts individuals, families, and our communities. These characters will be representative of the city as a whole, coming from different parts of town that have been impacted by tragedy and homicide. By telling the stories of individuals of different backgrounds and races who have lost loved ones to tragedy and homicide, we learn that violent crime isn’t just a problem that happens in someone else’s neighborhood. It can happen in any neighborhood.