LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Arkansas Stop the Violence called an emergency press conference that attracted members of the community, not the city of Little Rock. And that is what Mayor Mark Stodola thinks is important.
On Saturday, the Little Rock Mayor said he was heartbroken over the Power Ultra Lounge shooting. On Sunday, he spoke before a group of community leaders demanding action.
Reverend Benny Johnson, who heads the organization, is concerned the shooting is overshadowing violence, he and others say, happen every day in the capitol city. The video of the shooting at Power Ultra Lounge has been replayed repeatedly.
“It even made national news, you can go to MSN it was on there,” said Walter Crockran.
It's the day after the mass shooting and this community is doing their best to pick up the pieces.
“The incident yesterday is not indicative of the future, I certainly pray that it’s not,” said Stodola.
People in the community said these things happen every day, only now on a larger scale. The community wants everyone to take a stance on an issue that’s gone too far.
“It shouldn't have taken something to happen at the club downtown to bring awareness. We had a two-year-old get shot, and to me, they didn't do anything. And then the 7-year-old that got shot, they didn't really put any fire behind that,” Crockran said emotionally.
The town's daily crime is now being viewed by eyes nationwide. Crockran thinks it’s time to stop straddling the fence. “One thing we have to do is come together and get rid of that “no snitching” in our neighborhoods. We have to come together because it may be your family member next."
Mayor Stodola doesn't think the issue will solve itself overnight but knows something must be done to break this cycle. “Whether it be selling drugs or doing dope, or burglarizing houses and stealing stuff. When people cheat and steal, there's then a retaliation and people end up injured."
The Mayor has promised to focus on issues of poverty, education, and lack of employment to try and reduce the violence the city is experiencing. Reverend Benny Johnson will join us in the studio tomorrow at 6:30 for THV11 This Morning.