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Police, clergy call for 90-day 'cease fire' in gang violence

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- With a wave of violence sweeping through parts of the Port City, community leaders are banding together with a unified message.

The Hillcrest Community has been the site of some of the violence. Today it became the center of peace.

Pastors from 25 area churches joined forces with the Wilmington Police Department and members of the Hillcrest Community to ask the feuding members of the Bloods gang for a 90-day cease fire. With more than 220 reports of shots fired in Wilmington since January, all involved in the rally say they are tired of the violence, and that it has to end now.

"The problem finally came that there is nowhere to run, and there's nowhere to hide," said Rev. James Jamison Jr., pastor of Hope Baptist Church for All Nations. "This isn't a problem for my house or your house. This is a problem for our house. Now that it is affecting everybody, everybody is willing to come out and find their place, get in their place and hopefully stay in their place and continue this war against violence."

"It's going to work, because so many of the gentleman that I have spoken with are saying that they're willing to stop," said Rev. Lynwood Nesbitt of New Covenant Holiness Church. "They want to stop. Nobody wants to die. Nobody is going to talk publicly, but if we can identify the principle parties and sit down privately and discuss it, I guarantee everybody is willing to come to a resolve."

Once a cease fire is in place leaders in the black community say they plan to turn attention to improving their neighborhoods and giving kids a fighting chance.

"We overlook the obvious sometimes," Nesbitt said. "We need to get back, coach the children, sponsor tournaments, feed them, laugh and joke so they can pick father figures and we can get everyone on the right track. If we can open a center or a club, something that they can go to and take ownership and call it theirs, I guarantee the nights will be quiet."

Police Chief Ralph Evangelous says his department will step up enforcement in the coming weeks. But he says the best way to end this problem is with the help of the entire community.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Let's "Demand" a 200 day

Let's "Demand" a 200 day "Cease Fire". Let's also demand we stop housing Drug Dealers, and Armed Criminals, in Housing Projects. Let's also demand tax dollars stop being wasted, on paying 16 year old girls, to have as many, out-of-wedlock, children, as they can.

How VERY politically

How VERY politically correct. Looks good. Sounds good. Does little or nothing without something to back it up. If the thugs "violate the cease fire" what happens to them? Nothing more than business as usual in the hood. If the thugs were the type of people who were going to church and listening to the pastors, this would not be necessary.
I wish them all good luck but unless there is some accountability for their actions, the thugs will be thugs will be thugs.
Swift, sure, severe punishment and aggressive, vigorous law enforcement will get a lot more attention than all the speeches and sermons in the world. It also brings out all the whiners and dime store politician wannabes to cry racism and bias.

Yeah, we should give them a

Yeah, we should give them a center or club that they can turn into a crack house. Look at what they've done to the public housing we gave them. Change starts at home. Accountability starts at home.

cease fire

We need to make it illegal to be a gang member once you get linked to gang activity you are subject to arrest. why not use the racketeering laws against these folks? they have pretty much done away with the mafia and no one cried foul when they were arresting Italian Americans. no one was saying it was because of their social situation. This is the by product of organized crime folks and Until you wipe out the organization you will have the crime I can understand why the people that live there do not drop a dime these jerks do not care who they shoot it may not be the one that talks that gets it it might be a family member or a child we need to make all gang activity at any level a federal offense and then the feds can come in and do the job. the local LE guys I am sure are trying but they are probably outnumbered a thousand to one by criminals that do not care if they get caught or not and are celebrated in music and culture if they drop a cop.
then if a cop has to shoot one of these criminals he gets investigated this is like sending some one to a war zone with one hand tied behind their back. All I'm saying is something has to change and talk is cheap.

Bring It Downtown?

Overpriced inane slogans notwithstanding, the image of downtown is of violence, drugs, fights, assaults, robberies, gangs, murder, etc. That will not change until downtown changes.

Put a pig in a dress and one still has, well, a pig in a dress.

A real news organization

A real news organization would do a follow up story noting how many shots fired occured last night, and every night for the next 90 days.

Chief

Chief Evangelous has some serious departmental issues he needs to concentrate on. I know a former officer that was run out of the department by the female lieutenant in hiring/training. She basically stretched the truth and had him fired. The former officer recently met with the chief and deputy chief and pointed out all the problems the lieutenant caused while he was there. It fell on deaf ears because they will not allow him back nor take any action against the lieutenant. Other officers have complained about her but nothing is done. She is well protected because of her skin color and that she is female. Seems the "leaders" are scared of her.

so if the problem is

so if the problem is identified why not just go in and eliminate it, if your house has flea's, eradicte them, do these Rev's really think that calling a cease fire will matter to these gangsters? And what kind of help does the chief want from the community, we can all form a line and march thru these rat infested area's and stomp them out, but is that going to be a legal solution? Someone should have dealt with these problems years ago, I don't hear of the Myrtle Beach area having shootings every night.

Ceasefire

This problem exists all over the world and it happens everyday somewhere right now it is out of control here. And whatever can be done to help eradicate it needs to be done. Why don't you ask what you can do other than sound ignorant.

Well Debbie, what do you

Well Debbie, what do you suggest, cuddling them more?,, I don't have to ask what I can do to make it better, I already know that, you don't see that crap in my neighborhood do you, but here are 2 easy suggestions. We can either march thru the neighborhoods kicking down doors and run them out like rats or we can give them more bullets, being that right now they are just shooting each other that is probably the safest and fastest way to rid ourselves of the rodents.

Well, there you go

I feel safer already.

madness.

how about a 10,000 day ceasefire?!?!?!? these people are absolute idiots. Oh, and by the way, MORE GUN CONTROL!! SEEMS TO WORK WELL IN PLACES LIKE CHICAGO AND DETROIT.

Will Never Stop

Do these clergy members think these hoodlums go to church? Until the black community quits fostering criminal behavior it is just the way of life for them. Half the families on welfare, with a single parent, visiting family members in prison on weekends, with HS dropouts, and a unemployed worthless parent. What do you see if you go to a food store near Creekwood. A obese momma with a terrible red hair dye with two or three kids running around the store unsupervised talking on a Obama phone. These kids do not have a chance but to grow up just like their parent. Sad but the truth!

The Violence File

While I applaud the effort, I think it is a futile effort. These young men have no interest in stopping the violence. It is how they live and will continue to live,,,and sadly, die.

Ceasefire

I applaud the efforts of the church and the police department. When people say they want to do better if the opportunity is presented to them they will choose better. If you are not effected by the violence you can remain negative about them wanting to change. What are you willing to contribute as an outsider other than a negative comment. It takes all to make a difference. If it was in your neighborhood you would probably feel different. It's not in my neighborhood but I am concerned about the loss of lives over senselessness.

Only...

time will tell if the "bangers" were listening...or care. Since it's against the law for convicted felons to possess a firearm, I'm sure they'll adhere to your wishes.

"90 day cease fire"???!!

So what happens on the 91st day ... is it then okay for the thugs to start shooting each other again?

Did the Bloods attend this little rally, or did the message fall on deaf ears?