Brentwood residents hopeful after Trump's LI visit

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BRENTWOOD -

Some Brentwood residents say they're hopeful that President Donald Trump's visit to Bethpage Wednesday will put a bigger spotlight on gang violence.

Trump attended a forum on violence related to the MS-13 gang and heard from law enforcement and some family members of people killed by the gang.

Over in Brentwood, resident Erica Boynton says her son Christopher Hamilton was 15 years old when MS-13 members shot and killed him outside of a friend's house in 2009. She says she hopes Trump's visit discussing a crackdown on gangs will help.

"Put them in prison or send them back to their country," Boynton says. "The cops are doing their job, but they're outnumbered."

Long Island law enforcement officials have said gang recruitment often happens in schools.

"My parents tell me just to stay away," says Brentwood student Achieme Foster.

Foster, who's soon graduating from high school, says he hopes the president's visit will bring more attention to the gang problem.

Boynton says she agrees with the president that MS-13 must be eradicated, but she says changing immigration policy -- which Trump pushed on Wednesday -- is not the proper route since some people are in the United States for good reasons. She says parents need to play a bigger role in gang prevention.

"Parents need to pay more attention to their kids, who their friends are, who they're hanging out with," she says.

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