Youth violence in city has some calling for state of emergency

Local News

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC)- Four teenagers and two men in their twenties were shot after a Friday evening filled with gun violence in Rochester. The uptick in recent violence is leading many to call on the community and city leaders for immediate action.

There have been over a 100 shootings so far this year, over 20 of them homicides and many involving young people. City leaders and community organizers say we need long term solutions to improve youth development and stop gun violence.

“Its out of control. It really is a state of emergency. We have to do something about it,” said Malik Evans, Rochester city council member.

Police reported Friday night multiple shootings, with four teenagers and two men in their twenties shot. The youngest was just 13. All of the victims, police say, sent to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

Council member Evans is running for mayor and just rolled out his youth opportunity agenda, and says this year has brought challenges that are negatively impacting our youth. 

“You have more young people who are not in school on a regular basis and you also have a lot of young people who are not involved in positive activities,” said Evans.

Evans is working on a two-part solution. 

“We have to have a two step strategy. One; getting illegal guns off the street and two making sure that young people are involved in positive activities and that their families are also exercising supervision over their children,” said Evans.

And Clay Harris, founder of United and Healing Through Hope of Monroe County, just launched a ‘Stop the Violence Campaign’, saying the latest shootings reiterates the need for the community to come together.

“We have to come together and really actually take part in stopping this senseless violence and what we’re doing is we’re trying to engage that total community,” said Clay Harris, founder Stop The Violence Campaign.

“Everyone is your neighbor and your brother treat them with love and respect if you have a problem with them, have someone else help you and intervene but please do not use violence,” said Harris.

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