“It’s not the community’s job to keep us safe”: Lansing leaders frustrated as homicides surge

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—The city of Lansing reported its 22nd homicide on Friday.

The homicide rate in Lansing follows a national pattern of violence and deaths trending upwards.

“We had this same conversation probably 8 months ago, 6 months ago,” said Mike Lynn, a community activist and founder of the nonprofit, The Village Lansing. “This is not anything new, it’s just gotten worse.”

The Village Lansing deals with violence in the community, and Lynn is not surprised by the reported homicides in Lansing.

The updated numbers are 22 homicide victims in the past 10 months. Among that number, there were nine teenagers.

“It’s a cycle, I mean if one person dies or there’s blood now on the street you know other people feel they need to redeem themselves for that,” Lynn said, “So ultimately, you know when the police aren’t doing their job, you know the streets will handle it.

Community violence intervention is nationally renowned strategy, according to MSU Criminal Justice Professor David Carter. It’s a long-term method where leaders go into communities that are more susceptible to these problems and intervene ahead of time.”

Carter says it’s been an effective method to target violence in a number of cities, and it’s coming to Lansing, but takes time to implement. In the meantime, strategies like retlation assessment have been implemented in places like Richmond, VA.

According to Carter, it’s been effective in slowing the rate of violent retaliation.

According to Lynn, he feels those involved in the violence need to be taken off the streets — but he says that has not been happening.

“I feel like it’s a cop-out,” Lynn said of the idea of people saying the community needs to help itself. “It’s literally not the community’s job to keep us safe. It’s their job, they get paid a lot of money to do it, and they’re just not effective.”

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