‘Social media giants must do more’

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London has once again experienced a weekend of violent crime with three deaths from stabbing and a death from shooting last weekend.

Sadly, this is becoming an apparent norm as people tragically become accustomed to hearing of deaths from stabbings on our streets.

Last week bereaved parents who form part of ‘Operation Shutdown’ met with YouTube and Google bosses to discuss ways they would like the companies to go forward.

This week bereaved mother Yemi Hughes, who was at the meeting, talks exclusively to the Enquirer about the horrific murder of her son.

19 year old Andre Aderemi (pictured right) was murdered in Croydon in 2016. His death left his family and community with a gap in their lives that will never be filled.

“Andre had fallen out with his friend over an incident. His friend had been beating up his girlfriend and Andre had intervened and told him to stop. This started a fall out between the two and that’s where the problems began.”

Yemi was forced to move her family away from the area they had grown up in to avoid the escalating violence her family faced.

“There were arguments on social media with threats to my son, telling him they were after him.

“We then had three major incidents. Andre’s friend was shot in the face, my house and car were smashed and lastly we had a drive by shooting.”

Yemi moved to Kent to avoid further violence and to keep her son and other children safe, however the threats against her son continued.

“News travelled that we had moved to Kent and my son kept receiving threatening messages on his social media.

“The boys involved stood outside our old area and made a video where they were holding knives saying they were going to kill my son.”

The first shooting incident took place on July 16 and it was on August 16 that Yemi and Andre returned to Croydon for the day for a brief visit to family.

“Andre had received a message from his friend asking him to meet him when he returned.

“I dropped him off to play football with his friend and told him to be safe. He said to me smiling ‘Mum I will be fine, I love you.”

Andre’s friend never appeared, instead the four teenagers after him did and cctv footage shows how they chased him through the streets and then stabbed him repeatedly.

Dying in the street

“Every part of his left side had a stab wound. From his head to his legs.

“Paramedics and police tried to save his life but he died later that evening.

“The following day the video of my son lying in the street bleeding to death was on social media.

“That image shatters my last memory of Andre. “

The heartbreak Yemi went through and goes through everyday is indescribable.

“Record producing companies are encouraging teenagers to make videos about violence, stabbings and shootings.

“We need more positive music, positive messages. We need to remove these platforms that encourage violence,” says Yemi.

Following her meeting with YouTube and Google bosses, Yemi feels that it went very well.

“It was an encouraging meeting and they seemed to really listen to us “, she said.

“Andre’s death should have been the last but it’s isn’t and it won’t be if people don’t listen.

“That is the point of all our protests”, she finished.

An “ operation SHUTDOWN” spokesperson said: “We took a small delegation, for a private sit down meeting with Google and YouTube senior management last week, who can bring about change and further invest in young people and promoting non violent content.

“We had a productive and informative meeting and they have assured us they will respond in writing, to our list of requests and demands, shortly.”

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