Wilmington native, tennis pro talks community reaction to gang violence


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With Wilmington police cracking down on gang violence here in the Port City, community leaders like One Love Tennis program’s Lenny Simpson are also reaching out to help at-risk kids find alternatives to joining gangs.

The One Love Tennis program focuses on giving children opportunities to better themselves and their lives and allows them choices other than the streets and violence. He says his program is aimed to reach children at a younger age before they reach their teen years and are prone to joining gangs.

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Simpson says that he agrees with Police Chief Ralph Evangelous that the community needs to take responsibility for the series of violent gang related acts that have become so common in Wilmington.

“Tell somebody when there is something that they are doing wrong that it is wrong,” Simpson said. “Now I understand the dangers of that. I understand the fear of that. But if you continue to let that happen, you’re no longer going to have any neighborhoods.”

Simpson says that the black community needs to stop making excuses and instead needs to step up and stop these situations from continuing.

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