More community meetings on stopping violence in Cleveland with Councilman Zack Reed

More community meetings on stopping violence in Cleveland with Councilman Zack Reed
Locals meet with Cure Violence activists. (Source: WOIO)
Locals meet with Cure Violence activists. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - While is front of a crowd during a meeting on stopping violence in Cleveland, Council Zack Reed reads from a text he received this morning from the Cleveland police.

"East 93rd Street and Miles, 23-year-old male gunshot victim to the abdomen. Right now, just happened at 10:16."

Councilman Reed says Cleveland's neighborhoods are in crisis. There have been six shootings in the last 24 hours. One, at 151st and Harvard yesterday, another at East 93rd and Miles this morning. African American males between 16 and 25 are falling like flies, gunned down by people who look like them. Councilman Reed is shocked by the frequency of the often deadly shootings in his city.

"Look at the ages we're talking about here," Reed says. "A 25-year-old shot and killed here. A 13-year-old was in that car. An 18-year-old was in that car. A 23-year-old shot this morning."

In Baltimore, Chicago and New York -- where Cure Violence targeted its programs -- there were huge d rops in violence.

"One of the things I started to hear more and more over the last few years was working on violence as a contagious disease and to put together a program that's going to deal with it like a disease," Reed says.

An activist from Chicago explains how Cure Violence affects positive in the areas his group targets.

"Our whole focus is to focusing on stopping the shooting and killing and our program is data-driven," the activist says. "We document everything we do."

Reed says in some corners of Cleveland, things look rosy.

"Downtown is great," Reed says. "The Cavs are in the playoffs. Donald Trump is coming to town and little boys are being shot and killed on the streets of the City of Cleveland at the same time."

The Chicago-based organization, Cure Violence, uses a targeted approach in hard-hit, high-crime areas and what it calls disruptors, people with street cred to talk with those who wants to shoot and kill before they think about the lives they take. Reed has already taken his meeting to the historic Hough community, City Hall and today, to Mt. Pleasant.

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