‘We are all hurting from this’: Albany community speaks on gangs, homicides

‘We are all hurting from this’: Albany community speaks on gangs, homicides

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Making impact, not impressions, is how one group of community members think violence in Albany can be stopped.

This, after two homicides and threats of gang activity filled the city.

Mostly everyone Monday said there needs to be more things for youth to do in Albany to help curb the violence.

“Taking love to the streets” community meeting aims to find ways to curb crime in Albany.

Posted by Marilyn Parker WALB on Monday, August 19, 2019

WALB even spoke with someone who said they are related to one of the homicide victims. They said they wish these ideas were implemented sooner.

It was a week many people said they want to forget.

“We all are hurting a lot from this,” said one man in the gathering.

Multiple shootings, two of them fatal.

Sheqela Butler is related to one of the recent victims.

“As a family member of Quamyia and many more other family members that have lost their life to violence, we appreciate law enforcement and the community as a whole,” said Butler.

Sheqela Butler
Sheqela Butler (Source: WALB)

Which is why Butler came to Monday’s gathering.

“She lost her life behind something so senseless. I have lost a lot in the city of Albany through violence itself,” said Butler.

Butler hopes to learn how to prevent the hurt her family is feeling every day.

“At a time like this, we need this support, we need the prayers,” Butler said.

The group discussed mentorship and programs for youth to keep them off the streets.

“That saved me from going transition to gangs. That really did, because it was around me and I saw it and I had to fight against it,” said another man in the meeting.

Some shared stories of how they prevailed from being in gangs and how they can help mentor youth.

“They’ll listen to me than y’all because y’all ain’t never been in the streets. Y’all ain’t never shot, never rob, never gang bang none of that,” said a man who said he’s been in a gang.

They said they want to tap into the minds of the youth, but also give them a safe space.

“If we don’t give these kids something to replace what we’ve been talking about, it’s going to be a never-ending cycle. It’s never going to stop,” said another man who spoke at the meeting.

Leaders in the Dougherty County School System were also present. They hope to encourage people to volunteer to help out in the schools.

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