Burlington residents seek end to street violence

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(Host) Residents of one Burlington neighborhood are hoping to stop recent street violence from becoming a pattern. The city’s Old North End has experienced two recent incidents of gun violence in the densely populated neighborhood.

This week about 30 people met to discuss the violence. Dozens of other residents attended similar meetings last week. Organizer Genevieve Jacobs says she’s concerned with changes she’s seen:

(Jacobs) “To have walked your infant son by that very corner where there is now a bullet lodged in the wall – every day of his life on the way to nursery school – yeah it’s a shocker. It’s a big wake-up call – things are changing.”

(Host) Jacobs says she chose to live in the Old North End because she values the diversity of people the neighborhood is known for. Now, she says, because the shootings involved people of color, the violence is leading to a second problem: Racism.

(Jacobs) “The fear or concern I have is that people with deeply buried or entrenched prejudices, that go back generations even, may find those prejudices being enforced because of recent events. Even worse perhaps, is people who didn’t have any particular prejudice – you know just going along in the moment – are developing them all of the sudden. We have got to nip that in the bud.”

(Host) Residents at last night’s meeting say they want to work with Burlington police to keep violence and racism out of their neighborhood.

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