Charlotte spiritual leader discusses last time city had more than 100 homicides in a year

Charlotte spiritual leader discusses last time city had more than 100 homicides in a year

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Two weeks since her son was shot and killed, Latasha Love has a hard time with the reality of his absence.

“Oh God, I miss my son so much,” she says. “I miss Deontray.”

Deontray Love was killed the day before his 20th birthday. Love says she had been watching the number of people killed in the Charlotte area climbing.

“And I’m like, ‘Dang, what is wrong with Charlotte.’ It’s crazy,” she says. “I just hate my son got in all of it.”

With two months left in 2019, 94 people have been killed in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police jurisdiction. The last year with that many homicides dates back to 1993, when 122 people were killed.

Imam Khalil Akbar was chaplain in the jail, then.

“I saw the effect of it,” he says. “I saw the effect of crime, I saw the effect of poverty, people coming to the prison in big numbers.”

He says people then were living in fear. Community members, including churches and mosques, stepped in.

“People [were] driving by in automobiles with guns in the sky firing them,” Akbar says. “We decided we were going to confront them. We were not even armed, we were only armed by our faith in God.”

He says something similar needs to happen now.

“Being away from it, I think sometimes people tend to think, ‘It’s not affecting us,’” he says. “But whatever happens to one person, affects everybody.”

This, as police say they are working to keep the city safe.

“We’ve communicated our frustration ad nauseum, week after week, with how unacceptable, or heartbreaking and tragic it is,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police representative Rob Tufano says.

Families like the Loves hold on to the memories of their loved ones.

“Those numbers that they talk about, one of them was my son,” Love says. “I don’t consider my son a number, he was just a normal child, just trying to find his way.”

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