By Ricky Sayer, LEX18
LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The B.U.I.L.D. group repeated its call for Lexington to bring the Group Violence Intervention program to the city to help curb gun violence.
The message was shared during a larger “Nehemiah Action” event at the Central Bank Center on Monday evening. More than 1,500 attended.
“We are tired for the fear for our children, we’re tired of being afraid of sitting on our front porches… We’re tired of gunshots ringing out in our neighborhood,” speaker Cheryl Birch said. “My son was murdered 13 years ago, how many other mothers have lost their sons since I lost mine.”
The calls come as the city has faced four homicides this year, compared to ten at this time last year.
“The numbers go up and down, they are cycles of violence, sometimes one shooting happens and other shootings follow,” said board member Mary Miller.
Lexington has resisted calls to implement the program in the past. Mayor Gorton has said based on conversations with Lexington Police Chief Weathers that the program could hurt the relationship between police and communities of color. She says it’s not clear why is works in some but not all cities.
One of the speakers said they were disappointed Chief Weathers did not attend. B.U.I.L.D. is asking him to go to two cities where they say GVI is working—New Haven, CT, and Miami—and share what he’s learned from law enforcement in those cities.
LEX 18 reached out to the police department and has not received a response at the time of this article’s publication.
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