Citizens, Leaders Address City’s Crime, Violence

By Randy Singleton

Community Affairs Correspondent

New Journal and Guide

PORTSMOUTH—Barry Randall, pastor of All People Cultural Life Church, led a protest rally against violence in Portsmouth on Tuesday (Dec 30). The demonstration was held on the steps of Portsmouth City Hall and featured pleas for community action from family members of victims slain on Portsmouth streets, and calls for Portsmouth Mayor Kenneth I. Wright to either “Lead or Leave.”

Demonstrators criticized the mayor for not speaking out publicly on the issue of increasing homicides in the city and for not reaching out to families in mourning. In 2014, Portsmouth had 11 homicides. This number skyrocketed to 26 in 2015.

Portsmouth Sheriff Bill Watson provided a tent for demonstrators who wanted their voices heard regardless of the inclement weather. A candlelight vigil was held at the end of the protest rally.

The following morning, Portsmouth City Council and all elected and appointed city officials held a news conference in council chambers. Mayor Kenneth Wright said that city leaders were launching a new multitiered campaign to reverse crime and violence in the city.

Wright said, “Our theme for this press conference is simple-Violence and Crime Reversal Through Community Engagement. The reversal of crime and violence in our city can only happen when all of our stakeholders recognize the significance of becoming engaged in a collective process and becoming a community difference-maker.

“It will take thousands of people working on this campaign of togetherness and engagement, not just municipal government, not just schools and teachers, not just pastors and service providers but all of us working together.

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  • Hey Kool-Aid , I mean Kenny,
    Why don't you start doing something instead of just spewing your hot air B.S.
    A good Place to start is replace the million plus a year you took from the sherrifs budget to help fund your non tax paying subsidized neighborhood full of fatherless payckecks a Multi million dollar playground they will quickly ruin. You know the neighborhood you bought 3 or 4 houses in for just over 1oo grand as fast as you could with your insider information, but you didn't want to pay $16 for a inspection.
    Next do what a TRUE Leader would do (Which is to Lead by Example), and Apologize Publicly on the news to all the citizens you betrayed when you broke the law on the news like a moron . Then Step Down as your obvious inability to even manage your own affairs at the simplest levels demonstrates you were only voted into office for being black, not from any notable accomplishments.
    Your a Racist, Socialist, Hypocrite ! Its no wonder crime is everywhere in this city and your only agenda is to Socialize this city while you Fill your pockets, and blame the white man for everything.
    You and your al sharpton wanna be buddy, dr. hypocrite BOTH are the blame for the divisiveness and neither of you deserve any respect, let alone a public office.

    • The Mayors of any City can't control crime but the Mayors and Law enforcement agencies can crack down on the areas of our of control violence . The Justice System is broken because there is no truth in sentencing due to the deals that are struck with the criminals and prosecutors . Iam however am always Armed 🔫

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