Frustrations and concerns about gun violence expressed in a community forum
‘ONE Lexington’ and Lexington Police fielded questions from members of the Gainesway community for nearly two hours
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Members of the Gainesway community had the opportunity to speak directly with city officials on Tuesday night, expressing their frustrations and concerns for their safety to ‘ONE Lexington’ and Lexington Police. Among some in the audience, emotions were running high.
“I love my town man, I’m sick of my people dying,” said Gerel Young, a frustrated member of the Gainesway community. “If you love your city, put your boots down.”
A heated back and forth between members of the Gainesway community and community leaders regarding the recent spate of gun violence in Lexington. The forum lasted nearly two hours and got deeply personal as some in the audience took the opportunity to vent their frustrations.
“And guess why they got [a gun] in their hand? Because they are trying to protect that money in their pocket. You see, you are all lost for real. You have to go over there and see what’s going on. All those stats? Dead,” an angry community member said. “Go out there and talk to the people with them [guns] in their hands and ask them why you’re wearing that? And I guarantee you, he’ll say because I need the money.
Some community members believe that it may be those who have directly experienced gun violence who could best spread the word.
“Why should I listen to someone who hasn’t been there? What could they tell me that is going to be a fact that they felt or saw? Young said. “You know, that’s how kids see these things now. They took away all confidence from the children.
City leaders emphasized that gun violence prevention is a community effort.
“We will make a difference and without ‘us’ there will be no difference,” said Larry Johnson, community response coordinator for Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton.
“If you’re doing your part, you’re doing your part, you’re doing your part, everyone is doing their part, collectively we’re saving lives and that’s how I see it,” said Devine Carama, director of ONE Lexington. “Because not everyone is in this game 24/7, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have value.”
Councilmember Fred Brown from District 8, which includes the community of Gainesway, said this is just one of many forums that he hopes will move around the city so that people from all neighborhoods have the chance to participate in the conversation.