Community Activist Fasts to Bring Attention to Inner City Crime

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro activist and blogger said he has been fasting for two days because of the rising homicide count.

Alonzo Washington said he isn't going to eat through Monday because the police department and some local anti-crime groups aren't tackling the problem correctly. Washington said flashing lights from police cars and caution tape have become an all too familiar scene.

"I believe all of us are concerned about the murders in our city, particularly the ones that take place in our inner cities," Washington said "But I'm here to admit that nothing is working."

He said the police department's hot spots programs and the efforts of prayers and vigils by local anti-crime groups don't make a difference.

"The next day it doesn't work because no one is trying to stop the killing after that," he said. "They just say, 'I'm upset, somebody needs to come forward.' We need to take it past that."

Washington said he is fasting from Saturday through Monday as a drastic demonstration to try to get those afraid of calling in tips, to do so. He is also challenging parents.

"We have to cut through that fake pageantry and say, 'Hey, look, somebody gets shot, somebody gets killed, give a tip.' Talk to your son, if he's a gang banger, try to get him out of the gang," Washington said.

A new anti-crime group that encompasses several local groups said while it appreciates what Washington is trying to do, it feels everyone has a different way to prevent crimes from happening.

Members of "Stop the Killing KC" said they know they are making a difference.

"We have been effective," said Tony Caldwell, member. "We've gotten tips on victims, perpetrators who have committed crimes, of committed murders, names, addresses, where they live, cars they drive."

The group said it's helped police arrest those suspects and hopefully will do much more.

"We've actually formed this to teach education, give out jobs, retrain young people in being better in society," Caldwell said.

FOX 4 contacted the Kansas City Police Department to see if they thought their hot spots program is working, but a spokesperson said they were not available for comment Sunday.

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