Birmingham city leaders address ongoing gun violence

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Friday, city leaders on the federal, state and local levels came together to address the recent uptick in gun violence throughout Birmingham and Jefferson County.

“Too many deaths, too many gunshots, too much domestic violence, and too much fear,” said Prim Escalona, U.S. Attorney – Northern District of Alabama.

It’s a collaborative effort between local and state-level leaders to help tackle the ongoing gun violence issue in the city of Birmingham and Jefferson County.

“If you have a gun, and you shouldn’t have that gun, there are going to be consequences. If you indiscriminately fire that gun and you continue to perpetuate the violence in our community, there are going to be consequences,” said Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr.

“If we want violent crimes to stop, we have to support law enforcement and share information about criminals. We want to identify these people in groups who are doing the shooting,” said Sheriff Mark Levie Pettway.

Just in the past four months, the Birmingham Police Department says that they’ve taken over 800 guns off of the streets, but that can’t be the only solution to the problem.

“We can’t do this alone, none of us can do this alone. We need action from the community. We need every person in the community to help us build a safer, more vibrant, community in Birmingham and Jefferson County,” said BPD Chief Patrick D. Smith.

But to build a better relationship between the police and the public community, members say they want to see more long-term crime prevention efforts.

“We can take them out of these lifestyles and teach them skills and give them other things to do, besides not doing nothing except you know having to fight over pennies. Also rehabbing those who have been through things and trauma before we start being strict on the accountability measures,” said Cory Pettway and Avee-Ashanti Shabazz, members of the community.

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