YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown pastor Lew Macklin with Trinity Baptist Church says the shooting of a six-year-old child on what would have been his first day of school should make the community uncomfortable.
He said those who have information about the early morning incident on East Avondale need to speak up before they are victimized themselves.
“In a community where snitching is discouraged, the reality is don’t wait until it’s your child or your home before you decide that enough is enough,” Macklin said.
Local clergy believe recent peace marches and vigils against violence have had some success, claiming overall crime is down. But they say the problem needs more than simply people marching through neighborhoods.
“It’s people getting involved in the mentoring. People getting involved in the mediation. People getting involved in the parenting group we’re organizing because it’s gonna take all of us,” said Pastor Ken Simon of New Bethel Baptist Church.
Authorities have said that the vast majority of crime in Youngstown is committed by a small minority, but Simon says the remaining 95% as he calls them need to get involved.
Everyone that spoke to WKBN said that the violence is unacceptable and can’t be allowed to define the community, but they also asked when people will say enough is enough.
Activist and businessman Derrick McDowell says attitudes need to change.
“We have to go and curb our appetite for these types of things. We have to address the people who are afraid. We have to address the people who are apathetic,” he said.
McDowell says the community needs to turn its anger over acts of violence into action.