BOSTON (CBS) – Boston city leaders held a community meeting Friday to address the recent spate of violence on the city’s streets. Five people were killed over just three days last weekend.
“You can’t arrest your way out,” said Mayor Marty Walsh. “We will arrest people who do bad things but we need to get to them first and put them on a path to success.” Walsh says he’s both frustrated and angered over the killings which require a community solution, with Boston Police Commissioner William Gross called the meeting “the big ask.”
“How do we get more people engaged in conversation and constructive dialogue,” said Walsh who also says the city needs to target older offenders. “How do we target those older people? We keep saying kids but some of these folks committing violence are in their thirties and forties and we need to focus in those areas.”
Attending the meeting was Cynthia Creighton whose 26-year-old son Raymond was the first victim last Friday in the rash of killings, gunned down on Mass Ave in Roxbury. “It’s pure hell. I would never want to experience this, ever,” Creighton tells WBZ-TV.
While she doesn’t disagree with the words of city leaders, she wants more answers about her son’s murder in an area she says should have a lot of video evidence. “There’s a jail, a prison, hotels and gas stations. There are a lot of cameras out there, why hasn’t my son’s killer been caught, where’s my justice?”
In Dorchester Saturday, gas station clerk 68-year-old Jose Luis Williams was also gunned down in an attempted robbery. Kevin Williams, 21, has been arrested and charged with the murder.
Sunday morning there were two more shootings less than one mile apart in Mattapan including Itasca Street that led to the arrest of 20-year-old Kai Harris. Police can only say there’s no connection to the cases. In Boston there have been 45 homicides so far this year, compared to 42 at this time last year.
Officials say it’s not about the numbers but finding community support for solutions. Tina Chery with the Louis Brown Peace Institute says the city needs to take some concrete steps forward. “I heard the community get involved, but I want to know how and what does that look like,” she said.
Officials hope it looks like the gathering of organizations throughout the city they say are working to stop the cycle of violence and still need help.