Central Florida Spotlight: Regina Hill & Sandra Fatmi

WFTV Spotlight Orlando

    Published on 5:33 PM

    Channel 9 anchor Greg Warmoth spoke with Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill and United Foundation of Central Florida Founder & President Sandra Fatmi.

    As both Commissioner Hill and UFCF President Fatmi discuss why it is the community has spiked in crime and what can be done to decrease this crime. 


    Channel 9 anchor Greg Warmoth spoke with Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill about her friend, fallen Orlando police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton. He also spoke with Sandra Fatmi, a president of the Pine Hills Community Council, about the crime-plagued neighborhood.

    Greg: It’s been another week of tragedy and heartbreak in Orlando. Last Monday two local law enforcement officers were killed in their efforts to bring a murder suspect to justice. Today on Central Florida Spotlight, Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill, a close friend of fallen OPD Sergeant Debra Clayton. Welcome back to this week’s edition of Central Florida Spotlight and another difficult week for our local law enforcement community with the shooting death of OPD Sergeant Debra Clayton and the death of Deputy Norman Lewis who was killed in a motorcycle accident during the response to Clayton’s shooting. Today we have joining us Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill, a friend of Clayton who had served as Hill’s community liaison. Again, thank you for joining us. This has been a very difficult week, one that has been filled with emotion for you. Some of that we’ve watched play out on TV. How are you doing? I know its been difficult.

    Regina Hill: Of course, it has been. I tell you, something that ... I can’t believe this is happening, it’s still surreal, but the community’s standing together and we’re pushing forward. Doing better than I was doing Monday.

    Greg: Monday we saw you just outside of ORMC when you got the news. Go back through that day for us and how that played out and what was going through your mind.

    Regina Hill: Still didn’t want to believe it was Debra Clayton, but eventually after composing myself I knew she would want me to stand and be strong. I accepted the fact that it was and immediately wanted to see where her family was and be with them. I was with her a year ago, almost today, over in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, she was getting married on the beach side there and wanted to find her husband and her son. Of course, her husband was inside. It just was an array of emotions, just was thinking about how could Debra be gunned down. Doing what she wanted to do is crime prevention, especially in the west side of Orlando.

    Greg: I’m going to play a clip now. This is, when you say you stood strong, you really did this week. You stood with her son was amazingly strong, amazingly composed at a rally. We’re going to play a clip of that now.

    Regina Hill: As commissioner stated, it’s been some terrible times, but it’s a beautiful evening because when I see these young organizers and community leaders, when I see the clergy, the faith-based community standing here in my sisters and myself district where Debra lived and died. She gave it all-

    Speaker 3: Yes she did.

    Regina Hill: To see transformation. In the streets of Ivey Lane, in the corners of Mercy Drive, up and down North Lane-

    Speaker 3: Yes.

    Regina Hill: Where she was a servant leader.

    Speaker 3: Yes.

    Regina Hill: Not just a police officer. She was a servant leader.

    Greg: Your reaction to seeing that, you said when I met with you when you came into the building, you didn’t really remember exactly what you said.

    Regina Hill: Yeah. Well, it was a testimony about who Officer Clayton was. She was a servant leader, she was ... Often times we think of the police, especially on the west side, me against them. What Officer Clayton was to the west side was, “I’m with you. I have your back. I was you. I grew up in poverty. I grew up next door, maybe to those that were of criminal elements, but I grew the element that I was surrounded by and you can too.” She was an inspiration to all of us, but mostly she really wanted to allow little brown and black girls and boys to know that if they push forward, if they put all their work and efforts into education and also in doing the right thing, that they can aspire to be great. That’s what she did every day she came out into the community.

    Greg: Debra Clayton, the loss of her at the hands of this murder suspect who also is from that community, went to Evans High School. Some clearly harbored him, some praised him on his Facebook page for being a cop killer. That must absolutely infuriate you.

    Regina Hill: Yeah, I’m very angry. Of course this ... He’s somebody’s son, so I want to be mindful of what I say about him, but he is a cold blooded killer. That he has taken two people that I know. [Sade 00:05:37] Dixon’s mother was my community outreach person when we went door to door during my campaign. I was still there consoling the family as this happened. Now to take our beloved, beloved officer that has been doing the work in the trenches for a very long time wanting to make an impact and just wanting to make a difference. That he’s taken ... It does, it infuriates me. I’m very angry that someone has not turned him in, because what happened on Monday shouldn’t have happened.

    Greg: All right. When we come back we will talk more with Commissioner Regina Hill about ways to stem the gun violence we unfortunately have reported on far too often during our newscast and here on Spotlight. We’ll be back with more words from the Commissioner when we come back.

    Welcome back to Central Florida Spotlight. Joined here again by Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill. Thanks again for being here. Commissioner, you knew Sade Dixon’s family who was murdered likely at the hands of Markeith Loyd. Of course, we know that you had a close relationship with Debra Clayton as well. You were at her wedding just a year ago. The community of Parramore has been plagued with crime, riddled with gunfire over these last several months. What’s the solution here so that going forward these acts of violence against each other and against others in the community can stop?

    Regina Hill: Well, of course I don’t want anyone to think this occurred in Parramore. This did not occur in Parramore, nor did Sade Dixon’s death occur in Parramore. This occurred of course in my district, but on the outskirts of Mercy Drive and College Park. That’s why I say this is a community issue. This isn’t a Parramore issue, this isn’t a Pine Hills issue. This is a community issue. That Princeton sits right there near 5, 6 million dollar homes. We have Lake Orlando that sits right on the side of that John Young, Princeton Parkway. Yes, when we start realizing this isn’t an inner city problem, that this is going to be all of our problem if we don’t have adequate resources in the community. I do believe one of the ways that we can curb this is to offer more job training skillsets, is more mental health ... Clearly this man and many of these murderers have some mental health issues and it just didn’t happen over night.

    Greg: If you look at his Facebook page, I mean he takes pictures of himself, seems narcicisstic, talks about praying, talks about God, talks about eating clean, talks about doing the right thing. Then in another post he says that, “I’m going to be famous. You’re going to know me.” Then [crosstalk 00:08:49] talks like a gangster.

    Regina Hill: Yeah, yeah. That clearly shows a disturbed individual. Someone that’s almost similar to a Jekyll and Hyde.

    Greg: Yeah, because he went to get the sonogram with his now deceased ex-girlfriend and was happy that he was having a baby. Yet, 24 hours later he allegedly shoots and kills her at the doorstep of her home.

    Regina Hill: Undiagnosed mental health illnesses. I do believe that if we can identify these things while they’re young, while they’re in preschool, maybe while they’re in elementary school ... That’s one thing I think in the inner city that we don’t focus on much.

    Greg: Treat them when they’re young.

    Regina Hill: Treat them when they’re young. It’s easier to fix a broken child than to fix a broken adult when they’re far too gone.

    Greg: What about gun control, is that an issue here? Would that help here? Are criminals always going to find guns and weapons?

    Regina Hill: Well, in America we have more guns than Americans, right? For me, I truly believe that unfortunately people are going to find access to guns. Guns don’t hurt people, hurt people hurt people. If we can fix these hurt people so they won’t resort to picking up a gun and hurting somebody else, picking up a crowbar and hurting someone else, getting behind a car and driving into hurting someone else. If we can fix that person, I think that’s where we begin. It’s cradle to career, it’s cradle to career. We need to invest more resources into our youth, into our young adults.

    Greg: You have been there, you’ve had a life where you’ve seen it all. You’ve lived a life on both sides of this. Why does someone result to that? Do they just have desperation, no hope, all of those things? You’ve been there and now look what you’ve done with your life and what a strong member of our community you’ve become.

    Regina Hill: Yeah, I do and that’s why I’m saying, “Hurt people hurt people.” Fortunately, when I was hurting, when I had no outlet, when I was hopeless the only person that really hurt was me. I did more damage to me. Many a time I think these kids now have access to high powered ammunition. There wasn’t many guns on the street when I was going through my trials and tribulations. I wasn’t angry at anyone else, but my mother and father. These kids are angry at society now, that’s why we see all these rebellious spirits. Greg, I just really believe that we need to pour more resources into youth programs.

    Greg: Did law enforcement do enough to find Markeith Loyd in those days after that December 13th cold blooded murder?

    Regina Hill: Yes, I do think law enforcement did enough. We had everyone out there shaking the bushes. We had a lot of resources out there. What I don’t think was done enough is the community. Police was not harboring this cold blooded murderer. It was someone in our community and I’m going to say it, someone in our black community, our black community that has been harboring Markeith Loyd-

    Greg: We’ll be right back with Commissioner Regina Hill after this. Welcome back to Central Florida Spotlight. Joined again by Commissioner Regina Hill. Commissioner Hill, this community John Mina says, the Pine Hills community, the Parramore community, there are a lot of very good people, hardworking people that love that community. Yet, they feel they’re under attack, they don’t feel safe, some don’t trust the police. How do we change that?

    Regina Hill: Well, what’s ironic is Officer Clayton had just completed a book. It was going to print this week, it was at copyright, they were checking, fine tuning it, and proof reading it. It was called, Bridging the Gap of the Community and the Police. That was her life work, she had ... Was getting her PhD and had wrote a thesis on it. That’s what it takes, the work that Officer Clayton was doing. It’s getting out of the car, knowing your neighbors, knowing those in the neighborhood. The community trusting those that protect and serve them. You’re right, there’s some great people in Parramore, there’s some great people in Pine Hills, and Rosemont in the west side of Orlando. We know this because it was a community resident that saw him and reported it. She did not let that murderer go by. Met her last evening, she’s having a terrible time right now because she’s feeling somewhat guilty.

    Greg: She shouldn’t.

    Regina Hill: She should not. She is a hero, just like Officer Clayton died being.

    Greg: I can understand her feeling that way. Why is there such fear to call the police or call Crimeline? Do they not trust Crimeline that you would remain anonymous? Is there ... Do we need to do a better job of communicating that you are safe to call this number?

    Regina Hill: Barb Bergin, she’s doing a phenomenal job-

    Greg: She’s the course a head of Crimeline.

    Regina Hill: She’s the executive director of Crimeline and she’s doing a phenomenal job of communicating that especially during this week. Yes, we must do a ... Continue to let folks know anonymous does truly mean anonymous.

    Greg: Our hashtag now, I’m certain you’re familiar with it. You’re active on social media-

    Regina Hill: Warlando.

    Greg: Warlando.

    Regina Hill: Indeed. That’s why I say it’s so important to start pouring resources into youth programs and jobs and training, because we might ... We can circumvent this four years from now if we started pouring resources and jobs into this community, into the inner city, into young minorities.

    Greg: Fixing Markeith Loyd who has a criminal past that dates back about the same time that Debra Clayton started in law enforcement, went to Maynard Evans High School, was local, was somebody clearly there were a ton of red flags.

    Regina Hill: Indeed.

    Greg: He was incarcerated in federal prison. That’s what gets me, he was on the radar and there are many stories like that.

    Regina Hill: Well, I’m almost certain that before Markeith Loyd aspired to be on America’s Most Wanted, he probably at some point in his life aspired to be a great student in elementary, or junior high school, now middle school, but had some issues maybe in the classroom. We could’ve identified those issues early on and put some preventative measures in place, maybe we wouldn’t have to meet the murderers Markeith Loyd that has taken two significant people in our lives.

    Greg: We cannot allow for these two officers to die in vain.

    Regina Hill: No, we cannot and we will not. What, as I stated last evening, one of the most impactful things that I saw there was young men and women of color singing, “We’re standing with the police officers, we’re standing with our community. We will not allow terror, and murder, and chaos to control our streets of Orlando. We’re going to be the change that we’re hoping for. We’re going to be the change that we are requesting from City Hall. Now we’re going to pick up this baton and run with it for these two officers.”

    Greg: Let’s get rid of the warlando and be Orlando.

    Regina Hill: Yeah, one Orlando.

    Greg: One Orlando. Thank you very much Commissioner Regina Hill. Again, specials thanks to Commissioner Hill for coming in during this emotional time. Coming up next we’ll be joined by Sandra Fatmi, community leader in Pine Hills. We’ll talk to her about her community’s reaction to the violence and how we can also change impressions about Pine Hills. That and much more when we come back. Welcome back to Central Florida Spotlight. Joined now by Sandra Fatmi, leader with the Pine Hills community council. Thanks for coming on the show today, I know it’s been a difficult not just week, but several weeks-

    Sandra Fatmi: Absolutely.

    Greg: In the community. Talk about what you are hearing within the community as it relates to this violence. It seems to be never ending.

    Sandra Fatmi: It seems to be never ending and as president of the Pine Hills Community Council I have to tell you, I’m numb. I’m numb for several reasons. In talking to the residents in the community, I’ve gone out into the streets, and they’re pretty much scared. You have so many factors that you’re dealing with. You’re dealing with people that are fearing for their safety, you’re dealing with those that are on the street that feel as if, “Hey, this is my way of life. I’ve gone to jail, I can’t get a job, what do you want me to do? That’s the way that I survive. You guys have got to figure it out in this community what it is that you’re going to do to help us.” That’s what I’m hearing.

    Greg: Okay, so is there a solution to this? We had Regina Hill on in our earlier segments and it’s something to start young with them, and also once they get that record for that first mistake or second mistake, then they become unemployable and then they become desperate.

    Sandra Fatmi: Absolutely. I think we have to talk about job security, we have to talk about skills. Not every one is meant to go to college, so when we notice the behavior, let’s try to get them into trade schools. I think that would help. That’s what I’m hearing from those that are on the streets. Those that are in their 30’s have said to me, “You have to focus on the young ones.” That means trying to get them jobs, trying to get them focused on a different way of life that may work for them.

    Greg: Sandra, you as the President of that Pine Hills Association, you’ve heard the moniker, Crime Hills. That has to upset you.

    Sandra Fatmi: Yes, it does. How we try to change that, we try to change that because they’re good, law abiding citizens. I would say 95% of our community are upstanding. They’re proud, they’re willing to work, they’re willing to take back their community, but it saddens us. Over the last few weeks we’ve heard different things that have happened in the community that’s actually not Pine Hills. Where Sergeant Master was murdered, that’s College Park. I really want to set that record straight.

    Greg: Over these 26 days or whatever its been where Markeith Loyd was a fugitive, people had to have seen him, he was walking amongst us. Yet, obviously no one said something.

    Sandra Fatmi: Absolutely. I think for fear, as we talked about, of retribution even from him, possibly. Because there are those that are considering him a hero. That I don’t understand, because lack of trust in our law enforcement, lack of community togetherness, they’re feeling that every one is against them and that’s not the case, definitely not.

    Greg: Finally, you’re proud of Pine Hills-

    Sandra Fatmi: I am.

    Greg: You say that 95% of the people share your beliefs-

    Sandra Fatmi: Yes.

    Greg: Work hard, love their community-

    Sandra Fatmi: Yes.

    Greg: It’s the 5% that are ruining it for all of us.

    Sandra Fatmi: The 5% that’s ruining it. We have to take back our community, we cannot allow that to happen. There’s more of good than evil, and that needs to be shown. I will encourage everyone to work together, not separately, but to work together to get this done, because there’s more that can be done with numbers. I’m very hopeful, I’m very proud of our community. There’s going to be great things that’s going to continue coming out of our community. We have 17 kids in our afterschool program that’s getting ready to graduate, some going off to Morehouse, and there’s great things that are happening. I want to spread that word. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about it, but I also feel that more can be done with working together.

    Greg: We will invite you back hopefully with more pleasant stories-

    Sandra Fatmi: Sure.

    Greg: Than the ones we’ve been dealing with. Thank you for your hard work on behalf of the community.

    Sandra Fatmi: Absolutely. Thank you so much, thank you for having me.

    Greg: You’re welcome, thank you. That will wrap up this week’s show. I want to thank Sandra Fatmi and my earlier guest, Commissioner Regina Hill for being on this show during this very emotional time. We’ll be back next week with another edition of Central Florida Spotlight. Until then, have a great remainder of your weekend and take care.

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