“You change the mindset, you shift the heart;” After 4 homicides in the last 5 days in Charlotte, community activists speak out
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Recently, CMPD said gun crime is on the rise, and that harsh reality became even more evident with four homicides in the past five days in Charlotte.
WBTV’s Dee Dee Gatton spoke to faith leaders and people who know the families of the victims in these recent homicides.
They say the key to reversing this trend is a change of heart and mind.
“I come from violence, I come from a household of violence, I come from a neighborhood of violence,” Gemini Boyd said.
He and his friends, who all served jail time for gun-related crimes, are trying to stop the violence by understanding what leads to it.
“When you see us acting out, out of desperation to try to eat or try to live, you commit crime,” Orrin Jackson said.
“The access to these weapons are too easy,” Amir Shabazz added.
WBTV learned about these homicide investigations from Friday, April 15 to Thursday, April 21. You can see the list below.
- West Charlotte homicide (April 15)
- Northwest Charlotte homicide (April 17)
- Northlake homicide (April 20)
- East Charlotte homicide (April 21)
- West Charlotte homicide (April 21)
CMPD has repeatedly sent a message about gun safety - in March, early April, and just days ago, urging people to lock up their guns because criminals are getting guns from unlocked cars and committing violent crimes with them.
Boyd said he’s seen how these crimes can impact disadvantaged communities.
“It’s a poor mindset that causes violence, when you have nothing to live for, you have nothing to gain,” he said.
He also believes that empowering communities with more opportunities like good paying jobs will help prevent violence.
“You change the mindset, you shift the heart, once you shift the heart, you care about people,” Boyd said.
WBTV also spoke to faith leaders, who echoed that sentiment.
“We are the ones who deal with the heart of the people, and the community is not hearing from that faith community, and the faith community has got to come out, has got to wake up,” Charlotte Rev. James Barnett said.
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