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Hundreds gather to address violence in St. Paul

Callan Gray
Updated: November 07, 2019 10:11 PM
Created: November 07, 2019 09:49 PM

Hundreds of people gathered at Central Baptist Church on Thursday night to discuss recent violence in St. Paul.

“We come into this space right now, I know, with heavy hearts,” said Mayor Melvin Carter, as he opened the meeting.

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He told the community members who gathered that a new approach is needed and asked them to help develop it. He said the police cannot combat the violence on their own.

“I heard you say 'I'm sad,' I heard out say 'I’m angry' and I heard you say 'I’m frustrated' and let me tell you, I share those sentiments with you,” he said. “We in St. Paul this year have lost too many lives.”

Mayor Carter and Police Chief Todd Axtell listened as the groups talked about what has caused the recent violence.

Murder spike in St. Paul leads to community meeting to address violence

Twenty-eight people have been killed in the city so far this year, the highest number since 1996.

“This is not just about treating a moment in time, but adjusting the long-term cycle,” said Mayor Carter.

He was joined by Pastor Troy Wilson.

“I think the homicide numbers are totally devastating especially when they increase like this,” said Wilson. “I remember Midway in the ’90s, how volatile it was then.”

He said there needs to be accountability within the community and more family support. Wilson also called on faith leaders to come together to work for a solution.

Others told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that there should be more activities for youth after school, schools should be open later, and they want to see more affordable housing.

St. Paul police chief on combating gun violence: 'Reassigning officers, working closer with feds'

“We've been saying for a very long time we need to try something different,” said Mayor Carter. “We find ourselves still stuck in these cycles. We're bringing people together today to say, 'let’s work together to define what that something different is and how we hold ourselves accountable to evaluations and results.'”

He plans to take the suggestions generated at the meeting and incorporate them in a supplemental budget proposal.

There will be two additional meetings addressing violence:

Rice Recreation Center, 1021 Marion Street, Saint Paul, MN 55117
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55130
Saturday, Nov. 16, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.


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