BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham activists are gathering together to help stop the violence in their communities.
“It’s a shame that people see these crimes being committed, but yet, (no one) wants to step up and say anything at all,” community activist Carlos Chaverst said.
The Chaverst Foundation has joined forces with the Outcast Voters League to say something to the communities, all while using billboards that were recently put up with the phrase “Witness a murder? Speak up.”
This campaign hopes that the people in the community will speak up and bring justice to those families who have lost loved ones. To speak up to stop the violence before it happens.
Over the past month, the metro Birmingham area has experienced an uptick in violent crime, sparking concern within several communities. Many of the cases, including an Easter Sunday shooting at Patton Park, remain unsolved and authorities are left searching for suspects. With the recent rise in crime, officials are wanting people to come forward and report any information they can.
Law enforcement officials from across Alabama said that Birmingham and Jefferson County cannot combat gun violence alone– they also need the public’s help.
“Democracy is a participatory sport,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said in a press conference last week. “It takes a collective approach. It takes all of us.”
Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said that 86 guns have been taken off the streets in recent weeks. In 2020, approximately 2,570 weapons were recovered by authorities while 2,200 were taken in 2019.
“The numbers are escalating, but our officers are doing an outstanding job of removing these illegal and stolen guns on the street,” Smith said. “More importantly, we cannot even quantify the number of crimes that would’ve been committed if these guns were not removed and for the most part, most of them have been removed without incident.”
Those who have information on different homicide cases are encouraged to call the number on the billboard at 855-917-7325.