Charlotte group pushes for peace as this year’s homicides reach 102

Group aims to stop the violence

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A group in Charlotte that has spent years working to strengthen peace in our community believes there is something you can do to stop violent killings from happening in our city.

Right now, there’s been 102 homicides in Charlotte. There’s exactly one month left in 2019, and there’s some serious planning going on to make sure the amount of loss and devastation doesn’t follow us into 2020.

The people behind a group called Stop the Killing Crusade say it’s time to get back to work. They don’t feel like enough people are taking notice because of all the recent shootings, so this why they are begging you to step up.

Charlotte’s high homicide numbers are stifling.

“I’ve almost cried, I’ve got upset, I’m really angry. I know we’re better than this,” said James Barnett, the leader of the group.

Based off the numbers, 2 people are dying a week in Charlotte.

“That’s sort of like the explosion point,” said Barnett.

The 102 people who are no longer with us means, dinner chairs will be left empty this holiday season and some children will grow up not fully knowing his or her parent, and the burden of grief is something that is going to last beyond 2019 – for the 102 families, its a lifetime.

“We have to let those forgotten people know that there is somebody that do [sic] care,” Barnett continued.

Over the last few years, the Stop the Killing Crusade have passed out flyers, bumper stickers, and hats that read “I Love You”. They’ve also spent hours standing at stoplights across the city uttering those same words.

Now, they’re trying to get back to that. They believe the homicide count doesn’t just fall on officers.

“It’s not always about what a policeman is doing,” said member Gwen Johnson.

Johnson also says it’s time we all step up. They say a place of peace starts and ends with strong community outreach.

“We’re not bad people, we have some good people,” said Barnett.

Whether it’s becoming a mentor, showing a stranger you care by saying hello, or doing something nice to make someone else feel good, Stop the Killing Crusade says we can all be the change many of us wish to see.

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