Activists once again ask for outreach to stop violence - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Activists once again ask for outreach to stop violence

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Huntsville activists say growing crime statistics underscore urgency for greater community and government involvement. Huntsville activists say growing crime statistics underscore urgency for greater community and government involvement.
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

As another Huntsville community reels following gunfire and death, activists are once again pleading for more outreach and communication with at-risk youth.

Activist Robert Jacobs said he cringed when his smartphone delivered the news of Huntsville's latest homicide – that of Lawrence Williams, which makes 9 murders in the Rocket City so far this year.

With his ties to the rap world, Jacobs has helped host rallies and concerts to discourage bloodshed in the streets, but said he clearly has more to do to turn young people away from the kind of violence highlighted in some rap music.

"We have to show them that real life is, you don't come back from getting shot, and you don't come back from getting stabbed. You don't come back from fights; you go to jail. There's all sorts of other stuff that comes out from that," he said.

Bridgette Taylor has also hosted rallies against violence, and as a mother with a teenage son, worries about the coming summer months. "We're losing our kids because of this [violence]," she said.

Taylor said the growing crime statistics underscore urgency for greater community and government involvement in providing young people with alternatives.

"Places like the Boys & Girls Club; local centers like Richard Showers need to have mentors, namely black men, available. It seems as if the black community is the one that's perpetuating the violence at this time," she said.

Jacobs said young people need more opportunities but also more engagement from adults to steer them on the right path. "I think that some more mentoring programs should be available. I think that if more people talked to the right people, things could be changed and could be done," he said.

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