After a spree of fatal shootings over the weekend in Birmingham, one city councilwoman released a statement asking Birmingham citizens to "stand up and do something" when they see something suspicious.
"We're saddened and deeply disturbed by the violence that erupted over the weekend," said Councilwoman LaTonya Tate, who also serves as the council's chair of public safety. "... I am committed to working with city officials, neighborhood leaders, community-based organizations and business owners to create safe and equitable communities in all of Birmingham's 99 neighborhoods. Gun violence affects us all and leaves those in the community with trauma, pain and the aftermath to death with."
On Saturday, there were three separate shootings in Birmingham. On Monday night, the Birmingham Police Department (BPD) launched yet another homicide investigation after officers discovered a body on the side of the road on 2nd Avenue North and determined the victim had been shot. This is the BPD's 123rd murder investigation this year.
Ten of these homicides have happened since November 19.
Nevertheless, the city is not on pace to match the number of homicides in 2022. With 144 homicides, last year was Birmingham's most violent year since the 1990s. Some of those killed were children, and several resulted from stray bullets fired in drive-by shootings.
"We are not able to police ourselves out of this situation," Tate added. "It is incumbent upon every single person in this city to stand up and do something about this. If you see something, say something. If someone you know needs help, reach out."
Tate is not the first councilwoman to express concern recently about violent crime in the city. Councilwoman Crystal Smitherman asked Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin in November for help after several shootings in the Five Points South neighborhood, which is part of her district.
Smitherman said she was "at a loss of words" over the violence and that she thinks the members of the Five Points South community don't think the city cares.
Also in November, a member of the Birmingham Fraternal Order of Police (BFOP) spoke to 1819 News about the BPD's difficulties retaining personnel. The officer indicated that the BPD struggles to keep law enforcement officers at the department after their first hire. He said the BFOP is working with the city to implement a take-home car program, which he believes would alleviate the problem and boost the department's perceived presence in the city.
During the Tuesday meeting of the Birmingham City Council, none of the council members spoke to the violence. Woodfin did not mention it in his weekly update.
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