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South Richmond residents still concerned with rash of violence

RICHMOND, Va. —  South Richmond resident John Ellis admits his neighborhood is no stranger to violence.

“It’s very seldom that you can go a week without hearing gunshots,” he says.

On Tuesday night a father was killed in a shooting in the 5800 block of Orcutt Lane in the city’s Southside.

According to Richmond Police, there have been seven murders in the 9th District alone, from January 1, 2013 to June 25, 2014 which does not include Tuesday’s homicide.

In the 8th District there have been 11 homicides in the past 18 months.

City leaders have said they aren’t standing for this kind of violence and just last month they met with people living on the Southside about their concerns.

On Wednesday, Chief Ray Tarasovic and other officers walked through the Bramblewood Estates to also meet with people about their concerns.

But,  Ellis is concerned that might not be enough.

“When they’re in sight, nothings going on,” he said. “Who’s going to commit a crime in front of a police officer?”

CBS 6 asked Tarasovic if the department’s tactics are working.

“You know it’s interesting, we’ve seen a lot of violence in the last two days,” said Tarasovic. “We went 22 days without a homicide.”

CBS 6 also asked how the department plans to reassure residents that they are doing what they can to curb violence. Tarasovic said he wants people living in the city to know everyone in the department is willing to engage.

8 comments

  • Southern Gent

    Grew up in Southside from the 50’s to the 70’s (close to the area of the lastest murder). Both parents lived there beyound until their deaths.
    It was a blue collar area, a bit rough in places but not like today.
    My take on the area that in addition to an increase in the African American & Latino populations, there has also been a decrease in the average household income (not sure if this is correct). It seems there are less civic and recreation for people esp youth. I think until the economics and rec opportunities return or go up, there will be a continued crime issue. Not trying to start a discussion on race but wonder why with the increase of the African American population there is a preceived or real rise in crime.

    • Tammy

      You seemd sincere in your pondering, so as a black person I would say it’s two things these black people in these areas have in common southern gent…..because of generational lack of knowledge and poverty. These two things are detremental. The lack of knowledge is the main reason though. How to fix it? Someone has to get to the youth and change their thought process by educating (and I dont mean math and science; they need that too but it’s bigger than that; they need educating on history, character and economics) them so that they pass down those new ideals to their children, etc. But who? Should be the parents but it cant be because they have the same lack of knowledge.

      • Clayton Bigsby

        More prisons and road blocks to keep them all together so they can’t get out. Maybe a tall electric fence to encompass the area would work too. Eventually they’ll kill themselves off. Problem solved.

      • Tammy

        That plan is already in place by the government giving uneducated people “free housing” (which is not free in prospective because its costing them a minimal life) with the exception of the electric fence but then again aren’t those around the prisons? The government knows what they’re doing. They’d rather pay to keep black people where they want them in life (unsuccessful) and some black people are so uneducated that they fail to see it. They want black people to kill eachother. The government has the resources to end drug selling but they allow it in the country so that black people can sell it and use it and kill eachother over turf wars and money and then the police lock them up. It’s a vicious cycle.

        Oh, and by the way, your attempt at racist remarks dont offend me because you’re a peon. You dont matter.

  • Becky

    Think we need more PR pieces, placating, pandering, appeasing, positioning, and pussyfooting to hide, cover, escape, and evade the facts that crime is up and has been going up for a long time.
    Richmond Government has the facts, stats, police blotters/calls lists and areas requiring the most enforcement. Richmond government/media, inc. gets to manipulate and contort those records, according to PC and disparity agendas in their Close Government to public information.

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