After losing two kids to gun violence, Harlem mom fights for "stop and frisk"

(CBS News) NEW YORK - In New York City, a police officer who was shot in both legs Wednesday night got out of the hospital today. Sgtl. Craig Bier was wounded while working with an anti-gang unit in Queens.

The NYPD is trying to get guns off the streets with a controversial policy called "stop and frisk" as innocent bystanders continue to get caught in the city's street fights.

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Undated photo of 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan, who died from being caught in a crossfire during a charity basketball game in the Bronx
CBS New York

Four-year-old Lloyd Morgan was killed by a stray bullet on a playground in the Bronx

Jackie Rowe-Adams was at the funeral -- her sixth for a child killed by gun violence in New York City this year.

"It's a war," Rowe-Adams said. "A war with our children killing each other."

Rowe-Adams is the founder of Harlem Mothers, an organization for parents of murdered children.

"We have a support group here it is mothers -- and now fathers -- who have joined us not only in Harlem but all over the city."

Her group advocates for stricter gun laws and police tactics focused on getting weapons off the streets.

She supports the NYPD's stop and frisk strategy, which allows officers to stop and search anyone they find suspicious.

She does acknowledge, however, the policy is quite controversial.

"See, you have to walk in my shoes to understand when I say that stop and frisk is needed," Rowe-Admas said. "Maybe if they would have stopped and frisked those kids who shot my two kids, maybe they would still be alive."

Jackie Rowe-Adams' 17-year-old son Anthony, left, and 28-year-old son Tyrone were both killed.
Jackie Rowe-Adams' 17-year-old son Anthony, left, and 28-year-old son Tyrone were both killed.
CBS News/Personal Photos

In 1982, her 17-year-old son, Anthony, was murdered by two teenagers who didn't like the way he looked at them.

Sixteen years later, her 28-year-old son Tyrone was gunned down by a thief.

Critics who have protested the policy disagree. They say the tactic encourages racial profiling.

The NYPD's own statistics show that 85 percent of the people who are stopped are Latino or African-American men.

"I'm not saying don't be outraged about stop and frisk," Rowe-Adams said. "But be more outraged about our children that we watched grow up and we birthed and we nurtured in our communities to stop and put the gun down and stop killing each other. That's what I'm saying."

Some critics say the program is broken and abused. Rowe-Adams said that doesn't mean the policy, in theory, is ineffective.

"That program, if it's broken, it needs to be fixed by community leaders," she said. "And they need to sit at the table and help fix it. But we certainly don't need to stop it."

Rowe-Adams also believes parents need to take greater responsibility for their children.

"The parents need to stop and frisk them when there are leaving out that door," she said. "We talk about stop and frisk, but the issue now is our kids. And it is black on black crime because these kids, our little black kids are killing each other."

In this street war, she's already lost two children. She's tired of seeing others lose theirs.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.