Frustrations, concerns about gun violence voiced at community forum

'ONE Lexington' and Lexington Police answered questions from people in the Gainesway community for nearly two hours

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gainesway community members had the opportunity to speak directly to city officials Tuesday night, voicing frustrations and concerns about their safety to ‘ONE Lexington’ and Lexington police. Among some in the audience, emotions were running high.

“I love my city man, I’m sick of my people dying,” said Gerel Young, a frustrated Gainesway community member. “If you love your city, put your boots on the ground.”

A heated back and forth between continued people from the Gainesway community and community leaders regarding the recent string of gun violence in Lexington. The forum lasted nearly two hours and turned deeply personal as some in the audience took the chance to voice their frustrations.

“And guess why they got [a gun] in their hand? Because they’re trying to protect that money in their pocket. See, y’all are lost for real. Y’all got to go over there and see what’s going on. All of these statistics? Dead,” said an angry community member. “Go out there and talk to the people with them [guns] in their hands and ask them why are you carrying that for? And I guarantee you, he’ll say because I need some money.”

Some community members believe it may be those who have experienced gun violence first-hand who might be able to best get the message across.

“Why would I listen to a person that ain’t been through it? What could they tell me that’s going to be a fact that they felt or they’ve seen?” said Young. “You know, that’s how kids look at these things now. They took all the trust away from the kids.”

City leaders stressed that preventing gun violence is a community effort.

“We will make the difference and without ‘we’, there will be no difference,” said Larry Johnson, community response coordinator for Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton.

“If you do your part, you do your part, you do your part, everybody does their part, collectively we are saving lives and that’s how I look at it,” said Devine Carama, director of ONE Lexington. “Because everybody ain’t in this game 24/7 but it doesn’t mean they don’t have value.”

Councilmember Fred Brown for District 8, which includes the Gainesway community, said this is just one forum of many that he hopes will move around the city so people in all areas have a chance to be a part of the conversation.

A breakdown comparison of gun violence statistics in Lexington can be found on the ONE Lexington Facebook page HERE. You can also click HERE for data from the Lexington Police Department.

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