Community activists push for more resources in I-85 and West Sugar Creek corridor

Charlotte police know the intersection all too well. They say it’s a known violent crime hotspot.
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:11 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - I-85 and West Sugar Creek Road. Charlotte police know the intersection all too well. They say it’s a known violent crime hotspot.

Police are investigating the shooting death of 34-year-old Joshua Bullock who police say was shot and killed outside a gas station there Sunday night just before 10:30 p.m.

This corridor was identified as a crime hot spot by the City of Charlotte back in January of 2020. It’s part of the city’s long-term planning to curb violence in our community.

But it hasn’t happened there yet and community activists are calling for more resources to this area of the city.

Heal Charlotte founder, Greg Jackson, focuses a lot of his work in the I-85/W. Sugar Creek corridor. Jackson says when he hears of a homicide or any violence in the area, he first prays for the family and then the community.

“We’re in a crisis in the corridor. We need things to happen immediately. Right now,” said Jackson.

City leaders listed this area as a crime hot spot in the beginning of 2020. But Jackson says the city’s work on crime prevention isn’t being done as heavily in this neighborhood as it is in others.

“I think there’s a lot of long-term planning but not a lot of short-term solutions,” he said. “I don’t think we need to just pinpoint one area and say let’s work there while crime is happening everywhere else.”

Jackson is referring to the Alternatives to Violence program which is launching in the Beatties Ford Road and LaSalle corridor this summer.

“I would like to see small versions of that program piloted in a place like 85 and Sugar Creek so we can do some ground level work behind the scenes until the city is ready to launch a bigger program in our area,” Jackson said. “Beatties Ford needs that attention, just like we do. But all things need to happen just like we do.”

The City of Charlotte said in an email that Beatties Ford Road was selected for the violence intervention model after a cure violence global site assessment that “determined that the dynamics of the area are appropriate and consistent with other areas where the CVG model has been implemented successfully.”

“Making sure everyone has an equal chance at being successful and being able to provide and support...if everyone can get that i think it would be better for the corridor,” Jackson said.

WBTV News asked the City of Charlotte when the Alternatives to Violence program might be expanded to the other crime hot spots in the city.

They said they are currently focused on successfully implementing the program in the Beatties Ford Road area, but said in an email they are “excited about the potential to expand to other priority areas” in the city.

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