Parkland neighbors still scared but want to stop violence - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Parkland neighbors still scared but want to stop violence

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LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (WDRB) -- Neighbors in Parkland and surrounding neighborhoods say they're still afraid for their safety.

Neighborhood leaders say that fear is rooted in decades of culture that will not change overnight.  But they want to try.

About 100 neighbors, ministers and other west-end activists talked bluntly at the tavern where two Louisville metro police officers were hurt early Sunday morning.  The Cole's tavern is about two blocks from 32nd Street, where three people died in two, separate shootings Thursday.

Although the three killings were bold and brazen -- in the middle of the afternoon -- police remain adamant they were not random.

But neighbors say they're still afraid of being caught in crossfire; they worry about encountering someone willing to solve an argument with a gun.

"Some of these families have already lost family members before. So it's a cultural, we need a cultural shift in the mentality when it comes to the violence and us valuing our own lives," said Aubrey Williams.

Mayor Greg Fischer said that culture reflects frustrated people.

"These are people who can't cope other than thinking they need to use a gun. So that means society's let us down," Fischer said. 

One long-time activist said he's heard the same rhetoric going back to the 1970s.

The key now is finding something to resonate with teens and young adults, say, under age 35.

Fischer said possible solutions include a summer jobs program, enhancing a safe neighborhoods project and working harder to reopen the now-closed Parkland Boys and Girls Club.

"The kids are wandering and confused. It's up to us as adult leaders to help them on that journey to get out of there," Fischer said. 

"You're dealing with a culture of violence. A lot of these kids are raised on that because that's all they've seen," Williams said.   

The metro council person for the area challenged her constituents.

"All my folks who live around here, where I live, we have to make sure that we stand up and that we fight back," said Attica Scott, (D) Metro Council District 1. 

You could see one small sign of fighting back.

Relatives of Makeba Lee, the woman shot and killed at 32nd and Kentucky on Thursday, restored the make-shift memorial placed at the spot where she died.

Someone destroyed the first memorial late Saturday night, amidst rampant rumors of possible retaliation.

Makeba Lee's funeral is Monday.

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