Stop the Violence: Revival at Pilgrim Valley Baptist Church
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A day that began by honoring a non-violence leader ended with gunshots at Battery and Wolfe streets early Monday afternoon. Police say an 18-year-old girl shot once in the stomach was not the intended target.
"I can truly say that if he seen what happened during the time, the little bit of time after his parade, he'd turn over in his grave," says Reverend Benny Johnson with the Little Rock Stop the Violence Movement who was sickened by another shooting on a day set to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
He says it is a scene that is all too familiar throughout the inner city.
"If this would have happened in the Hillcrest area, the Pleasant Valley area, or the Heights area, they would shut this city down," says Rev. Johnson who believes the police department is not doing enough in high crime areas of Little Rock to deter violence.
Hours after the shooting, community members gathered just a block away at Pilgrim Valley Baptist Church to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and reflect on another year of violence.
"This time last year, this month, we had six homicides. But by December we had thirty seven and thirty three of them was us. I got a problem with that," said Sgt. Willie Davis with the Little Rock Police Department.
Staggering news that is keeping a community on alert and activists looking for solutions.
"A lot of people are prisoners in their own home. We got to take our neighborhoods back. We can't continue to let the dope man infiltrate our neighborhoods and poison our community with crack cocaine and marijuana," says Rev. Johnson who adds permitted loitering at local liquor and convenience stores is also contributing to inner city crime. He says business owners should be held accountable for allowing it.
Reverend Johnson is asking the public to do is to attend Tuesday night's Little Rock City Board of Director's meeting set at City Hall at 6 pm to voice their concerns about inner city violence.