Police chief, community activists asking for public's help as Lo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police chief, community activists asking for public's help as Louisville's murder rate climbs

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Wednesday afternoon, the public learned the identity of Louisville's latest murder victim, 26-year-old Ashley Spriggs. Her death underscores Louisville's two-year spike in violent crime. 

Today, the city's police chief asked the public for help.

"The main drivers behind violent crime in our community are poverty, the lack of economic opportunities for many people in those poverty-stricken neighborhoods, the impact of narcotics, the access to guns, and the failure of institutions that most of the people in this room counted on to help them find success in life," said Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad during a forum Wednesday afternoon.

That was the focus of the discussion as Conrad and other community leaders addressed the city's stunning rise in murders.  

Community activist Christopher 2X called for, "a mantra of healing, mercy and compassion as a way to deal with these engulfed anger and rage issues, especially as it relates to the young."

Coincidentally, the panel discussion at the Louisville forum event came just hours after the city's latest murder. Murder No. 56 happened in a home at the corner of 23rd Street and W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard around 9 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Perhaps just as troubling as the high murder rate is the number of people in Louisville shot or stabbed. There's been more than 300 cases since January of this year. Most of the victims are young African Americans. 

"It is going to be a continuing problem for this community, and it will take every one of us to get involved, whether it's a neighborhood watch or volunteerism, this has got to be a community-driven solution," said Chief Conrad.

The ideas that many have heard before fall short for Phawn Edwards. The mother of three says her boys struggle with the death of friends. 

"What I did hear is there's a big interest in helping, but I'm not hearing getting at the root of it -- and that's addressing the grief," said Edwards. "You can address the trauma all you want, but the sadness is what people are carrying around and that turns into anger."

Louisville's troubles mirror a national trend. 

"We need your help and we need it in many different ways," said Louisville Metro Councilman David James. 

It's a need to turn talk into action, in the hopes that it will save lives.  

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