LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Little Rock Police, educators and members of the community came together for a town hall at Arkansas Baptist College to talk about the uptick in violent crime and how to stop it.
Since January 1st, 28 people have been killed in the City of Little Rock. That’s about one person per week lost to violent crime. Shanetta Simpson Terrell knows the pain they are experiencing.
“When we hear another person, a young adult, a young male has lost their life to this senseless violence it’s like taking us back to the day we lost our child,” Shanetta Simpson Terrell said.
She talks about her 18-year-old son who was shot and killed a year ago.
“It has really devastated us,” Terrell said.
That’s why she’s at this town hall hosted by Arkansas Baptist College along with Little Rock Police, educators and community members.
“We as law enforcement cannot solve violent crime,” LRPD Major Casey Clark said.
Major Clark said they’ve not only seen an uptick in violent crime, but more of their calls involve those under 18.
“To try and reach some of these young people specifically who don’t value life,” Clark said.
“What’s the root cause,” Derek Olivier Research Institute for the Prevention of Violence Director Edmond Davis said.
Davis said the why is just the first part of the conversation. Next, they talk about how to stop it.
“Most of the violence comes from people knowing each other. I think building effective relationships is one of the things I think is critical,” Davis said.
For Terrell, she hopes this conversation stops another mother from going through the loss of a child.
“We need more education out for the children, conflict resolution. We need the community, we need law enforcement, we need prosecutors. We need everyone to get together and work together,” Terrell said.
The city is currently sitting at three more homicides than at this time last year.