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Forum focuses on gun violence in New Hanover County

READ MORE: Forum focuses on gun violence in New Hanover County
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Police say there are at least 300 gang members in New Hanover County. And for every known member, they say there are several more unknowns. With gangs come gun violence, and many fear it is on the rise here. Newschannel 3 was at a forum Monday night that focused on what can be done to stop it. Emmett Irving was shot and killed outside his Wilmington home on the night of July 26, 2008. His family believes he died at the hands of gang members, and said Irving was not in a gang. "It's time to stop the young people from killing each other," said Emmett Irving’s father. Monday night his father, along with other family members, came out to talk about gun violence. Irving said it needs to stop. "It was my baby boy that got killed and there's no good reason for anybody to take someone else's life." A panel discussed the issue and took questions and comments from the audience, including Irving's cousin, Kenyatta Clark. “We want to prevent other families from having to go through what we've been through," said Clark. Kenyatta encourages parents to educate themselves at events like this. "It's just really getting worse now and I really think that attention needs to be brought to that." Assistant District Attorney, Jon David, was among the panelists. He said for this issue, being politically correct is a roadblock. It is very much a black-on-black issue. The majority of New Hanover County's 31 pending murder cases are black-on-black incidents. “I think these forums will get the parents more informed and the parents can start dealing with their children more instead of leaving them in front of the computers and the TV's by themselves to raise themselves,” said David. Irving's family continues to wait for an arrest in the case of their murdered loved one. They also hope forums like this help make a difference. Other panelists included Wilmington police officers and the New Hanover County Sheriff's Gang Task Force. They were joined by the mother of a gun violence victim, a pastor and a UNCW violence researcher.

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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Lets see!!!!

The problem is not the Police. The Police finds probable cause to make the arrest and supply the DA with the evidence to back up the probable cause. After that point the Police are out of the picture. The case is now in the DA's hands. In most cases the DA does not consult with the Officers. The DA and the defendants attorney begin to bargain for a guilty plea. Sometimes this comes with a lesser crime resulting in lesser punishment. Most DA's and defense attorney's pride themselves on winning a trial. Some of them keep tally marks to find aw in the glory of getting a defender of or a DA getting a righteous conviction. Once they have a conviction they are sent off to Prison. Now Judges and Politicians keep a strict eye on the prison population. Once the prison population has reached a critical point cases are dismissed or lesser punishment is handed down. So in the end NO JUSTICE for the victim, victims family, or the community by large is not satisfied. We always blame the under paid Police Officer or the Correction Officer for the injustice. FACT: People screw up. Some screw up so bad they repeat the same or worser crime because they got a slap on the wrist. So next time you vote for a DA, Judge, Senator, State Rep., or any other law making body ask them were they stand. These individuals are able to hide because we blame the COP and not the TOP. How many high ranking Officials do see going, look it is not the prison guards fault or the COP. This is why lil johnny did not serve a long time in prison. The Prison was full and we let him back out to continue to screw up. I could never be a Cop because no one likes him until he pays the ultimate price for the sake of someones stupid butt. This also applies to the Correction Officer who babysits the unwanted crap enclosed in the walls with him, or the Probation Officer who risks getting bite by Fido to ensure Lil Johnny isnt being the devil he is. Those that critize usually do not have an answer for the problem. They continue crying and pointing out something we already know. In the mean time protect yourself and your property. That means do not leave your keys in the running car as you buy a pack of smokes. And for Godsakes scream at the right people and not the little guy who starts the process for he has nothing to do with the outcome. Raise your kids and they wont have to. GOOD DAY!!!!

Go Back

to the earlier article on the NAACP marching over something which occurred in 1898. Sorry, but 1898 is ancient history. Here's a very current issue of today which will carry forward for many tomorrows. Why not march in the neighborhoods, with the parents, of all those suspected or potential gang members, and do something constructive?

I totally agree...We have a

I totally agree...We have a local Chapter of the NAACP here in Wilmington, 1301 Castle St. The President's name is Mr. Beatty. Why not stop by and voice your opinion.

This message is right on

Great post......

Great lipservice

No one is truly interested in taking the cold, hard, corrective action needed to rectify this problem. When you catch a convicted felon with a firearm, he should go to jail for a long, lonnnnng time... ...but the families don't want to see junior going away for that long. "He's a good boy!" It's a violation of both federal and state law to catch a teenager carrying a gun, but do you think he's going to get sent up? HA! If the police and DA truly cared, they'd be working with the U.S Attorney to bring Operation Exile here to Wilmington. Under OE, a felon caught with a firearm goes away for five years. No probation, no parole, five years in a federal prison, period, end of sentence. But no, we don't want to take any hard, effective action. We want to yakk about it and yakk about it....and when nothing changes, we'll yakk some more. Community nonchalance and an ineffective criminal justice system - a deadly combination.

The reporter should have stuck around after the forum...

A couple of the attendees got in a fight right out in front of the school. Lashing out violently to verbal attacks shows only immaturity and weakness. Shooting a person over the color of their shirt or bandana is just pathetic and even more appalling than judging them by their skin tone. Apparently a few adults need to learn a few things before their children pick up the same behavior.