Reaction to St. Louis crimes questioned

5:05 PM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
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By Tracy Clemons

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Backlash to the George Zimmerman verdict has been strong on social media in the African American community. But one question some are asking, "Where is the same backlash when it comes to black on black murders right here in St. Louis?"

Brenda Davis' cousin, Alfred Marshall Jr., was killed last week in a shooting on Semple Avenue.

"People came from along the side of the house, like the gangways, and just started openly shooting on a crowd of people of our family members," she said.

Davis tells us all they know about the gunmen is that they were black.

"He was celebrating his birthday," she said.

In the days after George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the reaction among a majority of African Americans has been outrage. But many are asking where is that same outrage when a black person kills another black person?

"While we must fight external, and while we must defend our community rights, we must also look inside the community and look at what we can do and what we need to begin to do to make our own communities safer," said James Clark.

Clark is the vice president of community outreach at Better Family Life. He says he's with the throngs of people who are angry about it.

"But I do think we need to take that energy and that drive and that focus and that theme of accountability and apply it to our community as it relates to homicides that are committed every day," said Clark.

Of the 54 murder victims so far this year in St. Louis, 46 were black. So were 26 of the suspects.

In 2012, there were 113 homicide victims. Of those, 104 were black. 87 of the suspects were black.

"I think it's sad that we do have so much black on black crime when we should be working more together than against each other," Davis said. "And it's just over dumb things that they're murdering for."

"We just had a situation recently where a nine year old boy lost his life. We a few weeks ago had 17 people shot in one night. Neither one of those instances brought forth an outcry. So we have got to use this energy to begin to make changes from the bottom up," said Clark.

Clark says he thinks black communities have become apathetic and de-sensitized to what's going on, and that they must begin to challenge that.

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