WASHINGTON – “Would you date a carjacker?” asks Demarco Taylor-Wade, 19, in a recorded video.
“Are you serious?” yells a young woman in response.
The purpose of the clip is to reach young viewers and deter them from hijacking their car. The creator of the video also wants to drive home the point: you’re not going to find any girls in jail either.
The visual is part of a new series of anti-carjacking public service announcements (PSAs) that attempt to target at-risk youth in a different way.
“They’re not afraid of going to jail. They’re not afraid of dying, so we can’t use messages that say, ‘Hey look, you’re going to die if you do this. So I found a creative way to be able to attack the lifestyle,” said EZ Street, a local radio personality and founder of the nonprofit DC Academy, which runs a safe passage program in the district. .
EZ Street and other community leaders it works with, including Backyard Band’s Anwan Glover, hope to address the ongoing problem of carjackings and car thefts in the DC area.
The issue has gotten so big that DC police recently created a carjacking dashboard.
On Thursday, the scoreboard said the district had recorded at least 182 carjackings so far this year. About 75% of these carjacking incidents involved firearms and minors aged 14, 15 and 16 were found to have committed the most carjackings this year.
“This generation of young people is not like the previous generation, they are different. So they need different messages,” EZ Street said.
One of the PSAs features Melinda Robertson, founder of Black Mothers 4 Justice, INC.
“I work with many women whose children have been incarcerated and this particular woman told me that her son was paying for protection. That she maxed out her credit cards,” Robertson said in the video.
“These are things that they don’t talk about because they tend to glorify going to jail, but they don’t really understand the impact it has,” she told FOX 5.
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Anwan Glover, known as ‘BIG G’, told FOX 5: “Right now they don’t really have any money, they don’t eat. They don’t have mentors, nobody They say nothing. They look at their Internet. They get the songs from these rappers telling you to do this, do that – and that’s what they follow.
Taylor-Wade hopes the PSA helps give hope to victims of carjackers and their families knowing that there are people trying to fix the problem. He told FOX 5 what frustrates him the most about these particular criminals.
“People trying to portray an image for social media. [For] for some reason people think that social media is a platform where you can do anything, even if it’s the worst thing in the world, you still get the credit for it,” the youngster said. 19. “But it’s actually a problem, people give credit. You get millions of likes for doing bad things. People want to see that, they want to make things happen. They do it on purpose because they want to see someone fail…it really shouldn’t be like that at all.”
EZ Street said it plans to run primarily radio ads and Instagram-sponsored ads that will be geotagged to target social media users in specific high-crime areas in both DC and Maryland.
When asked if he thought teenagers would actually watch the videos, EZ Street replied, “They have no choice!”