Reported by Diane Gerstenfeld
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Anita Franklin’s son, 21-year-old Antonio Franklin Jr., was shot and killed two years ago at Duncan Park in Lexington.
Franklin says, “It’s a place where he enjoyed coming. Who would ever think that a child, regardless of their age, or anybody couldn’t come to our park and be safe.”
To help protect other senseless tragedies, Anita’s friend Tonya Lindsey, founder of Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence (SWAG), pushed the Lexington Police Department to adopt “Text a Tip.” It’s a service that allows you to send information, photos, and videos to the police at the touch of a button.
Lindsey says, “We came back here and we proposed it to the police department. They didn’t buy into it at first. But we kind of stayed persistent.”
It’s technology both Franklin and Lindsey feel will help get more people involved in stopping crime. They also believe it will help investigators solve cases faster.
Franklin says, “I think if this was available when Antonio was shot that yes, I had people that were very afraid, they used the word ‘I’m afraid to tell you this Ms. Anita.'”
Lindsey says, “I’m not saying that this is going to be able all fix all. But my whole thing about it is…if you make it accessible to people…because right now if we were witnessing a crime we can actually video it and send it. You know, they have the who, the why’s and all that. So I think it will help deter people from openly doing things and candidly doing mayhem in the neighborhood.”
Texting a tip is simple. Just text LEXP and your tip to crimes or (274637) and soon it’ll be in the hands of detectives
Franklin says, “Everyone, just about, has a cell phone. And so we just have to get out in the community and anybody that doesn’t know how to use their cell phone to do this we’re willing to open up clinics and show them how.”
Just like the anonymous tip phone line “Bluegrass Crime Stoppers,” texters who text information that leads to an arrest could receive a reward of up to $1000.