BOSTON (WHDH) - Community leaders gathered outside of Franklin Park Wednesday evening, calling for more action from city officials after a stretch of violence in Boston.
The group called on the police commissioner and mayor to adjust their approach to public safety after a violent past few weeks in the city, which included a 17-year-old being shot outside of a high school last week and the shooting death of a 14-year-old boy in Roxbury on Monday.
The recent streak of violence culminated in Jean McGuire, 91, being stabbed multiple times while walking her dog in Franklin Park on Tuesday night.
“Why is it that a 91-year-old woman cannot have the faith or trust in her community to just walk her dog?” Boston City Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson said. “It’s unbelievable! And so I’m here to say to you, that we cannot take this any more.”
“We will not be at rest as a community until the person who committed this crime is brought to justice,” said Rev. Kevin Peterson of the New Democracy Coalition.
“We’re devastated by the trauma, that this community has been enduring for far too long,” Charles Yancey, a former Boston city councilor, said. “And Jean McGuire herself fought against this violence.”
The recent stretch of violence was also the leading topic of the Boston School Committee’s latest meeting.
“We must come together to end this senseless violence,” one committee member said. “Our schools and our parks must be safe spaces for these residents of all ages to grow and thrive.”
The speakers outside Franklin Park Wednesday called on the mayor to appoint a special superintendent of police, someone they hope can coordinate with the Black community in areas of Boston where the most violent crimes take place.
Those who had visited McGuire in the hospital shared that she was less concerned for herself, and more so thinking of the family who lost their 14-year-old boy in a shooting just a day before McGuire’s attack.
Everyone was relieved to know McGuire is in stable condition, but remained impassioned about a need for change.
“When a 14-year-old child is murdered, and a day later a 91-year-old grandmother is stabbed and assaulted, walking in the park, that is a tragic day in our community,” Randy Muhammad of the Muhammad Mosque said. “And we must stand up and do something different.”
(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)