Baltimore Religious Leaders Announce Plan To Stop City’s Bloodshed
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Violence continues to grip Baltimore City with a record number of homicides reported this year.
Mary Bubala reports–an influential group of ministers released a plan to stop the bloodshed Friday.
Baltimore City police respond to another shooting in the city. The violence this summer has been widespread and brutal.
The police commissioner has vowed to track down the criminals. He’s seeing some success. They just arrested a man they call “Public Enemy #1,” 25-year-old Darryl Anderson. Anderson was wanted for two murders.
Now there’s another solution to halting the violence: a seven-point plan put forth by a prominent group of African-American clergy.
The Inter-Denominational Ministerial Alliance of Baltimore announced its plan, which includes creating a more effective witness protection program and breaking the code of silence by setting up hotlines so tips on crime can be reported anonymously.
“So they will feel comfortable talking to a third party rather than directly to the police department to report any kind of crime or activity they may see in the community,” said Rev. Alvin Gwynn, president of IMA.
And the IMA is calling on churches across the city to open their doors and get out into the community.
“If the church becomes more accessible–not just on Sundays or Wednesdays–but as it used to do. Preachers used to walk the community,” said Rev. Willie Ray.
“We have to go meet our men halfway. We have to go and appeal to them and give them a good enough reason why they should be really getting involved,” said GI Johnson.
And the ministers are engaging women in the neighborhoods to know they can help stop crime too.
“Not being afraid, not sitting back, but knowing their voice means a lot in the community,” said Rev. Phyllis Addison, IMA.
There have been 129 homicides in Baltimore since the start of the year.