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Community meets to stop gun violence

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 4:49 PM CST
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PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) - Philadelphia Alderwoman Cassie Henson Hickman hosted a community meeting Thursday to put a stop to gun violence in the city.

Hickman says several people contacted her crying for help after losing their loved ones to gun violence. She says the shootings typically happen between young people in the community.

“We need to make some changes and save our youth,” Hickman said.

Hickman says it was time to bridge the gap between police officers and Philadelphia residents.

Approximately 70 community members joined law enforcement officials in an open conversation about how to fix the problem at hand. Among the attendees, resident Charlene Kirksey says the meeting felt all too familiar. Kirksey has been advocating to stop gun violence for the past eight years.

“I reached out to all of the preachers. Some came and we spoke about this very subject about eight years ago.” Kirksey said, “It worked for a little while and then it stopped. The gun violence started right back up again.”

Kirksey begged parents to hold their children accountable for their actions.

“Stop this violence. Stop these guns from getting into the hands of the children,” Kirksey said.

Kirksey encourages law enforcement officials to work on building relationships with the community they vowed to serve and protect.

Mayor James Young says the city is in the process of installing cameras in hotspots for gun violence around the community.

Hickman says she will host a follow-up meeting in the next few months.

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