BOSTON (WHDH) - With violence in Boston top of mind, community leaders came together on Thursday to demand change and accountability as they push for more resources to help deal with the violence.
Members of the New Democracy Coalition and Prophetic Resistance Boston spoke in the South End and released findings from community meetings they held last fall.
In comments, organization members said people who attended the public meetings were concerned about violent incidents in Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury.
“We live in fear,” said Rev. Kevin Peterson of the New Democracy Coalition, later adding “I’m afraid, sometimes, to go out at night in certain areas.”
This week’s meeting came after Dorchester was hit by more violence over the weekend when police said at least eight people were hurt in a shooting near the annual Caribbean Festival on Saturday.
“This problem isn’t going to go away overnight,” Peterson said. “This is a systemic problem. The trauma is embedded.”
Community leaders, including Peterson, have previously voiced concerns and frustrations about the level of violence as well as the response from city officials. Those at Thursday’s event said they need more support from the city if anything is going to change.
“We demand that Mayor Wu and Commissioner Cox comprise a plan as they work with the community in developing a strategic plan in terms of reducing the violence,” Peterson said.
“Specifically within the triangle, where there is a disproportionate amount of violence, there should be a disproportionate amount of resources directed to that violence,” Peterson continued.
Community advocate Clifton A. Braithwaite was also among those calling for resources.
“We have the answers,” Braithwaite said. “But we don’t have the resources.”
“Either you stand up or get out of the way because we are tired of losing lives,” Braithwaite said.
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