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'We Hope That They Are Listening' | Greensboro Leaders Hold Forum To Discuss Solutions To Violent Crime In The City

Families directly impacted by gun violence spoke to city council members about the importance of putting a stop to it, now.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Compared to this time last year, police report a rise in violent crime in Greensboro: 30 murders so far this year, and half of them remain unsolved.

Behind each crime: a person, a family, a future taken. That's the message families expressed to leaders Wednesday night, in a public forum held by the city. 

How do you stop violent crime?

It seems to many like an almost impossible question to answer, but Greensboro leaders say they want to try.

"It's really an opportunity to be heard, to connect, to understand, and hopefully find solutions together," said Police Chief Wayne Scott. 

At the Windsor Recreation Center, in front of a full city council, the community shared their skepticism. 

"We have to do something, we can't just sit back," said Raynell Cole, "It will be at your doorstep next!"

Cole lost her grandson, Shawndale Austin, to gun violence two weeks ago. The family buried him last weekend. 

"There was never a picture you saw of him without him smiling," she said, "He was a mentor to a lot of kids. He would walk through the neighborhood and talk to him about violence, and try to get them to go down the right path."

The musical artist known to many as 2200 Leeko was found shot to death on North O'Henry Boulevard on August 29th. Police haven't caught the killer. 

Cole says, she and others want to make sure leaders understand the true impact of gun violence and focus on real solutions starting now. 

"We hope that they are listening. We're hoping that that they'll put something out there that can help our communities," she said. 

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