Mobile police sergeant John Young who gained national attention for calling out violence in black communities is encouraging Montgomery residents to “vote their conscience” in Tuesday’s mayoral election between incumbent Steven Reed and Barrett Gilbreath.

During an interview Monday on “News & Views with Joey Clark,” Young criticized Mayor Reed for hosting a pre-election concert featuring rap artists, such as Rubberband OG, whose lyrics promote violence and gang culture while crime runs rampant in Montgomery’s streets.

“When a person has a platform where thousands of people will listen to them, they have to have a more positive message,” Young said. “We have to turn our backs on this degrading, self-destructive, black-on-black violence-promoting song…Who wants to promote that? Why should that be encouraged? Montgomery is filled with gun violence just like Mobile, just like Birmingham.”

Young mentioned the recent brawl that broke out on Montgomery’s riverfront and how Reed and media outlets tried to inject race into the incident.

“Since then, how many black men have been shot by black men in Montgomery? Since that boat ramp fight, how many black men have been beaten by black men or black women beaten by black women?” Young asked. “…Did it change any minds? Did it make the black people say, ‘You know, we’ve got to stop treating each other like this; we’ve got to stop promoting it’? No, it didn’t. Look in the mirror Montgomery. Look in the mirror Birmingham and Mobile and be honest with yourself. This self-destructive, self-promoting subculture of violence is killing black families.”

SEE ALSO: Mobile officer John Young calls for restoring family values to counter 'subculture of gun violence involving young black men'

He continued, “Any black man promoting that is not worthy of attention. He should be ignored. He would not exist in the 1960s. A black man promoting violence against black people would have been shunned… You know that at these types of concerts with this type of music, there’s a propensity for violence. If they have that concert or whatever it is, I hope no one gets shot.”

Young concluded the interview by again reminding Montgomery voters to carefully consider who the better candidate would be to address the issues facing their city.

“Talking about violence and trying to stop violence are not the same thing,” he said. “Judge the tree by the fruit it bears before you vote [Tuesday].”

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