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Buffalo Shootings Spike in July, Despite Drop in Overall Crime

Fri, August 19, 2016 1:38 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- July was a busy month for Buffalo police. Last month police recorded more than 30 shootings, four of which were fatal.

Stop the Violence Coalition president Murray Holman says that's just part of the story.

"You know a lot of the shootings are not being reported that can play a role, but what I'm seeing now is new characters, new gang members," Holman said.  

Holman thinks the spike can be traced to younger and younger people getting pulled into gang activity.     

"We don't have the resources and I'm seeing new players," he said. "I'm not seeing the same average, OG (original gangsters) is like 18-years-old in gangs. Now I'm seeing 12 and 13-year-olds, we mentioned before, they're growing up now, and it only takes a fist fight for them to retaliate and raise mayhem."

"You know when you have these young men who are 20-25-years-old who feel as though maybe that their best avenue to get a dollar is to deal drugs or to runs guns or those types of things, those are the wrong messages," University District councilmember Rasheed Wyatt said.

Wyatt thinks more has to be done to break the cycle.

"I think it really has to boil down to: how do we engage our young people, how do we help them with job training, job readiness, so they can have jobs," Wyatt said. "Because, I just can't say more police or more activities will be the things that's going to save them, because the young men in some of these problems are young people who have had problems with the law not one or two times but many times."

Mayor Brown say he is concerned about the spike, but says overall crime is down and he believes that trend will continue.  

"Overall crime is still down in the city of Buffalo, something that we're pleased with," Brown said. "Over the last ten years crime has been trending downward and has dropped from every previous year."

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