Police Chief Issues Statement About Recent City Violence
By Brian L. James, Chief of Police
"In the first seven days of July, we have had seven homicides in the city of Greensboro. All of these homicides in July have involved guns. I stand before you today asking for the community’s help in reducing and solving these senseless acts of violence.
In light of the recent events around the country, we have seen engagement from the community like never before. Communities across the country have called for more police accountability as well as policy changes. We, at the Greensboro Police Department (GPD), support those conversations and will continually work to change and improve our policies and I, as the police chief, ask you as a community to hold us accountable. As I ask you to hold us accountable, I ask that we as a community hold each other accountable and do what we can to put an end to this senseless violence.
As of today, we have had 29 homicides in Greensboro. Of the 29 homicides, 26 victims are African American, two are Hispanic, and one is white. We have never had this many homicides at this point in the year. One of our latest victims was a young man who was 16 years old. As I stand before you, I’m asking those that would resolve their issues with a gun to put the guns down. You’re killing our future; you’re killing members of our community and you’re destroying families.
As we work through these difficult times, GPD remains committed to reducing violence in our community. We will continue to look at ways we can adjust resources in neighborhoods and find ways to improve relationships in those communities that are most affected. We will support ideas from the community aimed at reducing violence, understanding that a majority of the issues we face as a community cannot be solved by police. We will also work to strengthen our relationships with organizations that have the appropriate resources to address the issues that lead to violent crime.
So I offer this plea for help. I’m asking you to work within your communities and work with us to solve and prevent these violent crimes. I heard someone say, “Every crime that occurs, someone knows who did it.” I believe that to be true. If you are that person, I ask you to come forward and do it anonymously if you must but please come forward. I’m asking entire communities to band together and simply look out for each other and look out for our children because they are our children. I’m asking you to form or join existing neighborhood watches and groups that can work directly with police to reduce crime in your area.
I know that we as a police department and we as a community have a lot of work to do, but I don’t want us to lose sight that there is an increase in violent crime right here in our community that must be addressed immediately. I hope as a community we will embrace honest conversations about how we can build, repair and improve relationships and build trust. GPD will do its best each day to ensure we have the right people doing the right things the right way in our communities. As a city, my hope is that we can partner together to make Greensboro safe for all people."