VIDEO: Targeting gangs, violence in Kansas City

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 19:01:21-05

Prosecutors said an act of retaliation led to the death of 3-year-old Amorian Hale.

During a news conference announcing new charges in the boy’s death, Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said, “After his brother was struck in the neck by a bullet by a rival gang.”

Kansas City police recently put together a map of more than 50 known gangs in the city and showed that concentrations of homicides took place in the same areas.

Community activist Pat Clarke works to prevent crime but said it’s a problem in his own neighborhood.

Two weeks ago, federal prosecutors pointed out a longtime gang affiliation when they sentenced Rashawn Long to 30 years in prison. Court documents said Long was also responsible for the murders of 3-year-old Damiah White and her mother, Myeisha Turner.

Still, residents like Julius Smith are not convinced gang activity is widespread. “I've never seen a gang or anything truthfully, I've heard people say things but hearsay is a throwaway.”

Regardless of the cause of crime in Kansas City, Alvin Brooks believes there needs to be a targeted solution.

“The resources to reduce that needs to be given to that part of the city, and I'm not sure we're at that point that the philanthropic part of the civic community, the powers that be are willing to sit down and take a look at it and say, 'What can we do as a group to make things better in Kansas City?'” said Brooks.

Kansas City’s No Violence Alliance (NoVA) works to tackle some of these issues. In part, they identify people in the area who are 100 times more likely to be a murder victim than the average resident.


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