African American community tackles concerns over rising violence in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Community leaders and residents gathered Monday night to address what they are calling a rising problem of black-on-black crime. They met at a recreation center in North Philadelphia to talk about how to fix the issue.

Expressing her worry, 14-year-old Ashley Avent says she's always looking over her shoulder.

"It's crazy I could walk outside these doors and not be here," said Avent.

Homicides are up from this time last year and per the most recent Philadelphia police statistics, the majority of these crimes are happening within the black community.

"Black on black crime. It shouldn't be happening in our community. We shouldn't be killing each other," said Lorenzo Caracter.

"A time ago, we could help each other. Now it's all, 'Oh I didn't see anything, I didn't do anything' because if it was me, I would help them," said Ashley.

One of the solutions discussed at the 12th and Cambria recreation center Monday night is changing the "no snitch" mentality.

"When we see something is wrong, we all say something," said Hameen Diggins.

Organizers, alongside police officers said curbing the growing stigma starts at home; mentor programs and after school jobs, essentially showing those more likely to commit crime that there are other ways to be productive.

"People will only respect if you're doing something in your own community, to help," said Diggins.

"If this is about community, should there be more people from this community at the community meeting?" asked reporter Christie Ileto.

"There should, but it starts with a step because everybody who should up here, now they're going to tell someone else," said Diggins.
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