“Evil wins when good remains silent:” Residents plead with city to respond to gun violence

By Jacob Lorenz, Staff Reporter

Concerned residents of the northeast side of Carbondale asked for the city to do something about gun violence at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The residents attended the meeting in response to the shooting that occurred on Washington Street on Feb. 19. 

(See more: Crime Report: Wednesday’s Lunchtime Shooting)

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The Feb. 19 shooting was the fourth gun-related incident in Carbondale within a week.

“We have a petition and it says: evil wins when good remains silent,” Ginger Rye, of the Carbondale Women for Change, said. 

Rye said the residents of the northeast side are upset by the violence and gun activity in the area, which stretches from E Willow St. to E Chestnut St. and from N Wall St. to Brush St. 

“We are requesting security cameras, we are requesting a police substation to be set up in the aforementioned area with a 24-hour police presence,” Rye said. 

Two stray bullets penetrated the home of an elderly resident on Chestnut St. because of the most recent shooting, Rye said. 

“There is a crime problem in Carbondale,” Diana Boozer, a concerned resident, said. “I don’t like to be afraid to get out of my car to work when it’s dark outside.” 

Boozer said she wants a response from the city acknowledging the gun violence problem. She said she wants a verbal and written response from the city. 

Nancy Maxwell, a concerned resident, said she has left numerous messages for Mayor Mike Henry to attend a meeting discussing solutions for gun violence. 

Henry was not present at this meeting and Councilperson Carolin Harvey served as mayor pro tempore for the meeting. 

“We have good solutions that we are currently working on but we can’t do it alone,” Maxwell said. 

Maxwell said the next meeting discussing solutions will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on March 10 at the African American Museum in University Mall.

The Women for Change will also be having a meeting for solutions to gun violence on March 12 at 6 p.m., Rye said

After the public comments section was over, those who spoke about gun violence left. 

Councilperson Jessica Bradshaw said she has been doing research into an organization called Cure Violence Organization. She said she believes it is a good organization and residents should visit their website, cvg.org, for more information. 

“It’s going to take a lot of work,” Bradshaw said. “I’m glad the city is getting involved but I don’t think cameras and more policing is necessarily the solution when it hasn’t worked in the past. I believe it’s going to take more than that.” 

Staff reporter Jacob Lorenz can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jtlorenz6.

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