Calls for action to combat violence following weekend homicide - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Calls for action to combat violence following weekend homicide

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - A weekend double shooting turned murder is the latest round of violent crime to hit Little Rock, bringing the city's homicide count to five.  Now the "Stop the Violence" movement is calling for action from the city to curb the crime.

The 3200 block was back to normal on Sunday with just bits and pieces of police tape blowing around – a reminder of the shooting that claimed the life of Shoncoven Smith and put another man in the hospital with serious injuries. 

"Not only is it homicides but it's shootings," said Reverend Benny Johnson, president and founder of the Arkansas "Stop the Violence" movement.  "I think about 18 or 19 shootings this year.  That's very disturbing."

Johnson says the problem is pretty cut and dry.

"The majority of it, to be plain and simple – it's black on black crime," said Johnson.  "We've got a black on black crime issue."

Johnson says since the inception of his organization nearly 20 years ago over 700 black men have been killed in the city of Little Rock.  It's a problem that may contribute to Little Rock being listed at the least safe mid-sized city in America, according to real-estate blog Movoto.  The report by Movoto took into account occurrences of burglary, theft, vehicle theft, murder, rape, robbery and assault.

It will take neighborhoods like the one at 33rd & Elam, the scene of Saturday's homicide, to stop being silent about the issue of violent crime, but Johnson says it's not just the neighbors.

"One of our mottos at ‘Stop the Violence' is ‘together we stand, divided we fall,'" recounted Johnson.  "It's going to take a collaborative effort to help end this madness."

And Rev. Johnson believes that collaborative effort needs to be spearheaded by the city.

"At least the police chief or the commanders or the mayor – they should come out and say look here, this is what we're doing, we've got this plan or that plan," said Johnson.  "We're not seeing this from Mayor Stodola."

Johnson admits the "no-snitching" issue prevalent in the black community shouldn't be an issue anymore since the inception of 3-1-1 for the city – allowing those witnessing things to submit their information anonymously.  

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