Following toddler's murder, Little Rock city leaders concerned about increased gang violence

Little Rock city leaders concerned about recent rise in violence

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A recent rise in gang violence; that's the concern of Little Rock city leaders according to a memo from inside City Hall.

That memo, written by City Manager Bruce Moore to the Mayor and City Directors, goes on to detail the crime so far this year. There have been 711 aggravated assaults. 48 were shootings that left 57 people shot. 16 of those shootings involved a victim participating in gang activity, drug deals, or other criminal activity.      

Last Friday, Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore sent out a strongly worded memo to the Mayor and Board of Directors about what's causing the violence and what's being done to fix it.

In part it said: "The first is a long-running feud between two rival parties that was intensified by the murder of Ramiya Reed, who was related to members of one of the groups."

Two-year-old Ramiya Reed was riding in her aunt's car on her mom's lap on Harrison Street on November 22, when she was shot and killed. A $40,000 reward has been offered, but no suspects have been arrested. We spoke to her parents last December, after the reward was increased.

"I know the police are going to get them, justice will be served, but we're going to forever be stuck with the pain," said her father, Brandon Reed.

Lt. Steve McClanahan of Little Rock Police said they've had little cooperation from the family when it comes to the case.

"What we are seeing, is because of this lack of cooperation, and some of these shootings being related, the cycle will continue because the same people involved in some of these, so we are going to see these shootings going and going until we lock them up where they belong," McClanahan said.

The City Manager, who wasn't available for interview Tuesday, also mentioned Colonel Glenn.

One month ago, we told you police would be increasing their presence at Colonel Glenn after there were three shootings in 24 hours. Then, people in that area were growing more and more concerned they'd be caught in the cross-hairs.

In the memo, the City Manager shared the same concerns as police and residents, that gang members were using shopping center parking lots to hang out.

He said, "this is a concern as it puts a lot of people, including rival groups, in a confined area searching for one another."

I asked Lt. McClanahan if anything has changed since we spoke last month, when police began adding extra patrols to the area.

"We still have the extra patrols. I think it runs until at-least midnight. We have a number of patrolmen and sergeants that are assigned to that area, strictly for that area only, they're not answering other calls. They're there to enforce traffic and see what's going on,” the Lieutenant explained.

He said there is still a lot of "cruising" traffic, but thinks that's something they'll have to stay on top of. While Mayor Mark Stodola would like to see the crime numbers lower, he isn't overly concerned they will continue to rise.

"The gang issues of the 1990s, when I was a prosecutor, are not the issues we have now. This has been very localized. It's been basically two different groups of people that all know each other and have taken retaliatory action against each other," he said.

Both the Mayor and police are appealing to the public to help them get these crimes solved, and get people locked up, so they can't keep recommitting in our neighborhoods. You can call Little Rock Police anonymously to report tips.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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