BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With 3 weeks left in the year and 100 deaths due to gun violence, police and faith leaders call for peace and to put the guns down.
Crimes like rape and assault are down, but homicides continue to rise. Pastor Gregory Clarke is the founder of Birmingham Peacemakers, an organization that works to bring the church into the community.
“We are partnering with UAB and Princeton to bring in a hybrid system where hospitals are participating with us as well as Mom’s That Demand Action trying to reduce crime within the community,” Pastor Clarke says.
Pastor Clarke says residents have told him some of violence is domestic or retaliation, but many stem from disagreements on social media that have escalated.
“It is also from people that are afraid to simply fight like they used to because of people that post pictures and videos on Facebook,” says Pastor Clarke. “People are really afraid. So they shoot rather than fight.”
Sgt. Mauldin with the Birmingham Police Department encourages people to just too and think in these situations before they become violent.
“It affects so many people. It affects the victims, along with the suspect,” Sgt. Mauldin says. “We’ve hit 100 homicides so with that being said you have the victims who were taken with senseless acts of violence and also the victims family and the suspect. That will eventually face the justice system. Their families suffer, their mothers suffer, their kids suffer.”
He says one way people can help the police is by becoming more involved and telling what you see going on in your community.
“A lot of these homicides have happened in well traveled, well populated areas. So we know there’s people out there that know what took place,” says Sgt. Mauldin. “It’s time to stand up for the community. Because we have these things that’s occurring in broad daylight and we know people have that information that we need to break that case and bring closure to these families.”
Sgt. Mauldin says there are several ways to report things you see going on in your area anonymously. One way is to contact Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777. Another way is to reach out to the department in your area. For their information visit police.birminghamal.gov.