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St. Louis 5th grader: 'I hope the breaking of windows, setting fires stop and we all come together'

"We should stop messing up our own neighborhoods. I don't like it. It's just unnecessary," said 11-year-old Deion Moore

ST. LOUIS — On Thursday, 11-year-old Deion Moore was finally enjoying his favorite past-time with his dad: washing their neighbors' cars in north St. Louis.

For Deion, it was a chance to bond with father and forget about what's been happening in their neighborhood.

"I've seen a lot of people breaking and busting windows, setting fires," said Deion.

And the Columbia Elementary fifth grader didn't like all the bad stuff.

"I just thinks it's all the breaking into businesses and stuff is unnecessary. I think we should stop messing up our own neighborhood because when all this is over, we won't have anywhere to go," Deion added.

Deion and his family live just blocks away from a pawn shop where police said retired St. Louis police Captain David Dorn was shot and killed Monday by a suspected looter.

RELATED: Reward increased to $40,000 for information in murder of retired St. Louis police captain killed during looting of pawn shop

Just down the street, other businesses also were damaged and looted during the riots that followed peaceful protests over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd.

Deion Moore also saw what happened to the Minneapolis man.

"I couldn't even watch the whole video. I had to turn it off because it's our black people who keep getting killed," said the boy.

"It kind of makes you feel uncomfortable," said Leandre Moore, Deion's dad.

Uncomfortable or not, Leandre Moore is talking to his nine kids about what happened to George Floyd and the subsequent protests, riots and violence that broke out.

The dad is also pretty candid with his kids about racism in America.

"I try to bring them up to be open with somebody, make a person feel welcomed and I teach them self-respect. We really don't have to tear up our community to get our point across," he said.

RELATED: March held in St. Louis to honor retired police captain David Dorn

"It really is the parent's responsibility to help the child with what's going on within the family's own set values," said Dr. Jerry Dunn.

Dr. Dunn is the executive director of Children's Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

"Find out from the child what they understand. Find out from the child what they've observed. Don't make the mistake to think that we can shelter the children from this because they do know. They observe a lot more than we recognize," explained Dr. Dunn. "I have a 2-year-old granddaughter who recognizes, you know, different people's skin color and things like this and it's important to have these conversations. I don't believe they're ever too young."

A smart and wise Deion Moore remains hopeful.

"We can learn what mistakes not to do. I know racism is not the thing to do like we all should have equal rights and we all should just come together," he said.

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