CHARLOTTE — How do we stop violence from plaguing our community? Leaders in Mecklenburg County spoke frankly Sunday about the problem of youth and violence in Charlotte.
The conversation was held at the Exchange Church. It hosted what organizers called an ‘intentional conversation addressing what we can do to help the youth of our city in the midst of all the violence and disruption.’
“I don’t think we’re involved in our community. We blame everybody for what our own children do, and we defend our own children, even when we know it’s wrong,” says Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden.
“I have 14-year-olds killing 15-year-olds out in the street,” says CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings.
Top law enforcement officials, educators, and judges all shared their knowledge about what’s happening out on the streets. 70 people have lost their lives to violence in Charlotte this year. And, that includes a three-year-old boy who was sound asleep in his own bed in Northwest Charlotte. Three people have been arrested, but investigators initially said juveniles at several CMS Schools could also have been involved.
Leaders say more accountability is crucial to help quell violence.
“The one thing that I implore parents to do is come to school. We want to partner with parents,” says Annissa Johnson-Anthony, Assistant Principal of West Mecklenburg High School.
Leaders say there also needs to be programs in place in schools to reach kids who are in those impressionable years.