Community members call for change in handling gun violence in Lansing

LANSING, Michigan – Community members gathered at the Lansing Beehive on Saturday to talk about the high rates of gun violence in the city.

Residents say they want to see the police work on better engagement with the community and respond to issues with love, not force.

“What I’m looking at from our leaders is not meeting the people of Lansing with open arms,” said Metro Melik, the event’s organizer. is a place where a person can thrive rather than barely surviving.

Strong words from Lansing residents at Saturday’s meeting – which came in response to a press conference hosted on Monday by Mayor Schor and Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth.

It breaks my heart every time I hear that another young life has been lost in our city due to gun violence, ”Mayor Schor said on Monday.

Community members like Jerry Norris are calling for peace.

“We can’t keep shooting, we need a ceasefire,” Norris said. It also encourages managers to better engage with the community. “Get involved with the people involved in the problem.”

Gun violence has killed 23 people in the city over the past year, officials said at their press conference on Monday. Violence is not unique to Lansing, the whole country has seen a significant increase.

“We all have the same goal, to reduce the amount of violence, especially gun violence that plagues our community,” Sheriff Wriggelsworth said in a statement on Saturday. “To fight for justice for victims while doing everything in their power to significantly reduce victimization in the future. The Ingham County Sheriff’s Office continues to increase its resources and work with our community to find solutions both now and in the future. “

Melik says he doesn’t have the answers.

“[But] I know what’s going on right now isn’t working and if people don’t have hope and can’t see happiness and joy anywhere in front of them, they’re going to be in disparity, depressed and crippled, ” he said.

Participants say there are already people in the community doing the work to address gun violence.

“There are people who are already doing this work – let’s come together, bring them all together in one space and one place,” said Angela Matthews, an event attendee. “Let’s talk to our young people and find out what’s going on. What do you think? How are you? What’s going on? What can we do to help you and put ourselves at service.

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