RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Following a deadly Thanksgiving weekend in Richmond, community leaders came together to address the ongoing violence in the city.
Community leaders and members of the NAACP told 8News they are fed up. They say some locals in the community are afraid to walk outside because they fear they will be shot.
“Stop it! You’re killing us! We are afraid of you,” said Marilyn Olds, president of the Richmond Tenant Organization, at Tuesday morning’s community gathering.
Tears were shed, hugs were given and prayers were spoken as leaders from the six public housing courts in Richmond pled for violence throughout the area to stop.
“If the police don’t get you, a bullet will. Stop it! Mothers are grieving, grandparents are grieving, children are scared to go to school. What are you proving?” Olds continued.
Multiple shootings have plagued the courts of Richmond in less than a week, leaving three people dead. The family of 19-year-olf TJ Barlow, who was killed Thanksgiving morning, attended the call-for-action and begged locals to “stop killing each other.”
“It is so sad when you wake up a parent’s gonna say that’s my child or cousin wakes up and that’s your cousin or your niece or nephew out there in the street is dead for something senseless,” said Jayne Washington, Barlow’s aunt. “It is senseless.”
Richmond’s Police Chief Will Smith says most of the homicides the department investigates happens in or near public housing.
“You’ll see that there is some correlation in the geographical area,” Smith said.
It’s something leaders in attendance said is ridiculous.
“We’ve got to step up,” said James ‘JJ’ Minor, president of the NAACP president. “I’m calling this a 911 in the City of Richmond, this is all hands on deck.”