Community activists in wake of 3 homicides in St. Paul: 'Put the guns down'

Updated: September 10, 2019 07:12 PM

St. Paul police are trying to solve three homicides in the city that occurred within a matter of hours.

On Tuesday morning, at a coffee shop on Selby Avenue, a group of veteran community activists and former police gathered to address the growing violence in the city.


"I finally had to say enough is enough," the Rev. Darryl Spence said. "When you shoot and kill one, it doesn't just effect the person you shot, it effects everybody in our community,"

Spence said at the meeting he wants to sit down with those pulling the trigger to understand the issues behind the new spike in violence.

"I say ‘Guns down St. Paul’...we've got to get to a point where 'guns down' is not just a cute phrase but it's something we begin to work towards," said Spence.

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Former NAACP President and St. Paul city councilman Nathaniel Khaliq said the problem isn't one police can solve alone.

"There's got to be a community solution," Khaliq said. "We don't want to turn our problem over to the criminal justice system."

Below is a graphic showing how many homicides have occurred in the city of St. Paul each year.

Adding more police is a hot topic in St. Paul, but Khaliq said he feels using current department resources to get guns out of the wrong hands is an effective way to address gun violence.

"Someone is giving them these guns and they are getting more and more sophisticated," said Khaliq.

Activist Dora Jones-Robinson has worked on Rice Street in St. Paul with at-risk youth for the last 14 years. Her family has been the victim of gun crimes, and she has a message for those behind the violence.

"Standup and be men. Stop the gun violence, put the gun away, start hugging on each other, loving on one another," Jones-Robinson said. "We can't make it like this."

At the community meeting on Selby was former St. Paul Police officer Melvin W. Carter Jr, who is also the father of the current mayor of St. Paul.

"We have to pray for wisdom together collectively to solve this problem," he said. “We need to establish a line in the sand, how we are not going to stand for this."

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Eric Chaloux

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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