Mother of murder victim says: Wake up, Kansas City!

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  Leaders from churches, neighborhoods and victims of violence Friday are taking action to stop black-on-black crime in the urban core. Those who've lost loved ones to violence are talking about the impact it's had on their lives at the Interscholastic League Field House.

Last year about two out of three homicide victims in Kansas City were black. Police say more than one out of three suspects identified in the crimes were black too.
While most of the violence is happening in neighborhoods where African-Americans live, the summit seeks to attract young people by offering a basketball skills camp on Saturday.

Rosilyn Temple lost her son when someone shot him to death outside an apartment complex three years ago. Her group, Kansas City Mothers In Charge, is made up of all mothers who have lost children to homicide.

"I just want to say, 'Wake up, Kansas City!'" Temple said. "Enough is enough. We're tired of us killing us. That's what's going on. We're killing us. We are today at 30 homicides in Kansas City. We're down from last year. But it's going to get hot."

Organizers say black-on-black crime is done with more than a gun. They call high unemployment, drug abuse and poor public education just as important crimes against blacks. And black leaders say it's time for the African-American community to come together and accept responsibility for the violence in their neighborhoods.

"When we have homicides in our community they come in spurts," said Pat Clarke, community liasion for Kansas City police. "You have one Friday night, you got two Saturday and three more on Sunday. It's a chain reaction, so I think saving a life can be a chain reaction too."

The summit concludes Sunday with a prayer service on the Interscholastic League football field. It's part of a national day of prayer. The city-wide prayer service starts at 3 p.m.

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  • Ben

    African American leaders are right. The African American community must come together and take responsibility for the violence in their neighborhoods. Instead of walking up and down the street with signs, they need to get on the phone and report every person they know that is carrying an illegal weapon, who are selling drugs, who are robbing people and their homes and anyone else who is committing crimes in the area. If you see kids not in school, report them but wait until school is back in session.

  • Inlife

    How about addressing crime in general. Does it have to be just black on black crime? How about providing alternatives to them by preventing them from committing any crime? Such as school information, youth programs, boys and girls clubs info etc. STOP COMMITTING CRIMES! Having a criminal record does not help you with employment, housing etc. The focus should be reducing crime all together. The majority of the black on black crime centers around drugs, theft, fights over respect, women etc. Another suggestion would be working with the police and doing a gun buy back program. How about getting some of these high paid athletes to come mentor some kids? Just some suggestions as i have seen this before in many other cities. Also, loosing that no snitching mentality!