‘Why does this keep happening?’: Durham community members analyze how to address violence

North Carolina

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Gentry Sneed is not only a barber, coach and longtime Durham resident.

He’s also a father.

His son is 13. The same age as the girl shot early Wednesday morning at her home on Weldon Terrace in Durham.

“Why does this keep happening? Especially in our community. What’s being done about it,” Sneed said.

These are questions that have seemingly not been answered.

For months, we’ve followed the story of how Durham leaders and community members are working to curb the violence.

From shot spotter technology to track gunfire to more money going to the violence interrupter program.

Gentry doesn’t think the collective efforts culminate to a focus and urgent plan.

“Why don’t we see them trying to stop the violence in our neighborhoods where our kids are getting shot. 13-year-olds. You just get a K-9 shot, which is just as bad as well. That’s not good at all, but look at all the press around that,”

Antonio Jones is the chairman of the Durham Committee for the Affairs of Black People.

He thinks the answer can be through opportunities. For instance, job placement.

“I think it’s time for us to really have some serious conversations about crime. Crime isn’t new but what are we going to do about it,” Jones stated.

Jones said the organization is working to address systemic issues.

“Idle time creates a lot of problems as it relates to crime. So, when we eliminate that idle time and give our kids and perpetrators things to do then there will be less victims,” Jones explained.

Gentry said he would like to see more of a police presence in some areas.

“There used to be [police] substations in those areas of violence. I don’t see that anymore. That can really deter people from doing things,” said Gentry.

Durham city council member Mark-Anthony Middleton said he plans on bringing up Wednesday’s shooting at Monday’s city council meeting as the latest proof that more needs to be done.

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