Albany’s ‘Stop the Violence Movement’ co-founder speaks on recent crimes

WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with a local bishop to talk about an organization he helped found to stop violent crimes.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 11:08 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - With two recent deadly homicides in Albany, some in the community are looking for answers and pushing for change. WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with a local bishop to talk about an organization he helped found to stop violent crimes.

Albany Police Chief Michael Persley the other day said there are young people in this community who just don’t believe the law applies to them, and don’t have concerns about this violence. What are your thoughts on that?

“You know, you have my thoughts on that. And I think that first of all that it’s true. But secondly, I think that life has brought a lot of our youth full circle, whereas youth having youth and over the years there there’s some 15, 16, 17 year old. They have had babies and that was not present in the home. A lot of discipline. And so now those babies they’ve grown up and their parents are still youth. And what you heard of is a repeated cycle, and so we’re seeing now that there’s not a lot of teaching and training and morals in the homes and it’s deflecting out in the community,” Bishop Frederick Williams said.

You co-founded Stopped the Violence Movement after a terrible tragedy in your own family. You know how rough violence can be to not only the victims but to the whole community in Albany.

“Young man had some mental things going on there, took the life of my sister, my oldest sister, and it prompted me to get involved with mental health, with violence in the community and pulling people together,” Williams said. “And I really think some of the problems that we’re having in our building. Is that the community is a little too silent? We gotta wake up and we gotta get on top of this thing.“

So what do you think can be done to try to curb some of the violence, especially gun violence that is plaguing so many people?

“Well, I think one one thing can be done, Jim, is that people gotta stop thinking it’s not their problem,” Williams said. “Our thing was crying. We all pay, and so if a crime is going on in our neighborhood and our community, and we have vital information. We need to be watching out for one another, watching our neighborhoods and just taking that. That could part and I know there’s the fear factor, but nothing will change if nobody will step forward.“