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Shedding more light on shootings in Seattle’s Central District

(KIRO 7 image)

Omari Salisbury of Converge Media has been covering the ongoing shootings in Seattle, especially in the Central District, and is concerned that the gun violence is not getting the proper amount of attention. He joined Seattle’s Morning News on KIRO Radio to discuss.

“Being from the Central District, what’s occurred there on Cherry Street is something that we’ve been dealing with in the Central District for years. There was a murder that occurred there on 23rd and Cherry earlier in the week, and then the next night, two people were shot. But then previously there was a murder in North Seattle and then prior to that over the weekend, a murder down in the Pioneer Square area,” he said.

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“So there’s definitely been an uptick in gun violence. And these are all Black people who are being killed by gun violence here in Seattle. The protests are spreading awareness around the value of Black lives, and I just wanted to make sure and put on the radar that there’s a problem that’s occurring right now in Seattle, and it’s been ongoing for a long time.”

But awareness has to lead to something. So what should come next? Do police need to pay more attention too or is a community-based approach a better option?

“There’s so many unsolved murders, it’s just undeniable. So of course I’m saying we need more police involvement and getting murderers off the streets. But also, the more the community is engaged, the more that we can try to work within community to try to address these issues.”

What kind of measures would he like to see to mitigate the ongoing gun violence?

“We need to get the guns off the streets. There’s access to firearms, guns in the hands of these young people, it’s crazy. As long as I’ve been alive and growing up there, it has been a marginalized community, and with any marginalized community, it’s open for a lot of talk about, whether it’s from mental health issues, neglect, you name it,” he said

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“But I do know that if we act like it’s not happening, especially right now where it’s this big protest season … we have to be able to figure out a way to make Black lives matter in the neighborhood, in the Central District, across the city. We’re just working with a lot of different community based organizations to be able to address this … In the Central District, it’s considered an emergency.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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