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Violence in our area must come to an end

March 31, 2012
The Herald-Star

The time has come for city residents to step forward as leaders to put an end to the violence that has senselessly taken the lives of two young men so far this year.

Hilltop neighborhoods have been plagued with gunshots at all hours of the day.

People are scared, and rightly so.

Homes and cars have been hit by the rounds.

Demeatrus Benjamin, 24, was shot to death outside his home on Pennsylvania Avenue in January.

His brother, Leroy Benjamin, 23, and Quentin R. Nelson, 24, were victims of a drive-by shooting early Sunday on South Fourth Street. Nelson later died as a result.

There are unsolved murders in the city from the past several years, and it's not a far jump to suspect that subsequent shooting incidents are in retaliation.

Residents are pointing fingers about who is to blame for the shootings. But instead of pointing fingers, they should be raising their hands volunteering to help stop the violence.

There have been bursts of violence in the city for the past several decades.

While the violence to this point has affected mainly the black community, it's time for leaders from all segments of our neighborhoods to step up and demand these actions come to an end.

City Police investigate the shootings only to find a social stigma against cooperating with officers. The police are doing what they can to bring those responsible to justice but they can't do it without the help of those with knowledge. There are too many guns on the street.

Young men are packing weapons, some of whom are just kids.

There have been shootings over drug turf. Others, as mentioned, are in retaliation with no end in sight. The community has to come together to take back the streets. It won't happen overnight, but the effort must begin today.

The leaders of today and tomorrow need to get the message out that the violence has to stop.

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