Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Four murders in one year

NOW WE HAVE another alleged homicide in Quincy. That makes four in one year, not good in a small rocking chair town.

Yes, this is alarming and not good. Yes, it's quite interesting that all four incidents took place in one specific part of the city. I wouldn't feel safe if I lived in that area of town, either.

But each incident has its own set of facts and circumstances. And this is nothing new for Quincy.

I remember around 2004, when I covered crime and courts for The Whig. There were four or five homicides in Quincy and the surrounding area in a short amount of time, including several on the south end of town. One took place not half a block from where I now live. Another happened a block from my old apartment in Calftown.

There was all kinds of jumping up and down, blaming the police, blaming everybody for everything. Our city was going to hell and people were going to leave and not come back, and it served everybody who lives here right for "letting" it happen.

It can happen any where.
When Clyde Jackson was murdered on North 12th Street in July of 2008, the city simmered and it took a lot of effort by authorities and community leaders to keep things from coming unhinged. A lot of productive dialogue came out of those hot summer days and nights.

I hated doing stories about crime statistics, because numbers can be easily skewered and misinterpreted. But four murders in one year is four too many. We all need to address issues of violence and anger, culture and environment.

So I'm going to say now what I said back then. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Perspective tends to fly out the window when this stuff happens, and I understand that. Instead of pointing fingers and blaming everything around us, we need to look at ourselves and our community.

We all live here. We are all in this together.

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