Concerned citizens discuss ways to identify, implement solutions to crime in Danville

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - Scenes of flashing police lights and police tape at the scene of a shooting or a homicide have become common in Danville this year.

But, Bishop Lawrence Campbell believes that could change if residents viewed the violence as a community problem.

He believes many people, specifically whites, view it as a problem in the black community and therefore a problem that the black community alone needs to deal with.

"What we're trying to do is what we feel is right to be done at this juncture of this struggle," said Campbell. "I think that one of the major pieces that is missing here in Danville is that you do not have the community involved."

He pointed to the February shooting of Dr. Randolph Neal.

Neal was shot multiple times walking home from the hospital and the incident triggered a series of community walks to try to bring the community together to end gun violence.

"When that physician, who's a white doctor, was shot then it became a community problem," Campbell emphasized.

Marvin Clark manages a barber shop on N. Main Street and believes the different segments of the community need to communicate with each other more.

"Relationships between police and community, white and black, is playing a major role in this city," Clark stressed.

He also believes that more communication could help create more father figures for young black kids and that could reduce gang activity and ultimately gun violence.

Two meetings were held Wednesday night at White Rock Baptist Church.

The second was specifically for young people and community leaders hoped to talk to them about gang activity and why they choose to get involved in gangs, but only two teens showed up along with a dozen or so adults.

Bishop Campbell didn't expect many whites to attend Wednesday night's meetings, but he hopes this will encourage them to do so in the future.

He says that's the only hope for ending the ongoing violence.

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