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Thursday, December 18, 2014
Residents on edge after shootings
Community leaders call for action at unity service
By Alexandra Spychalsky
Courtesy Isaiah Bell
Tisizele Scott, a community advocate and Channel Park resident, organized a service last Sunday to discuss the recent violent episodes in the North Park area.

Residents are speaking out about gun violence in Long Beach, with people across the city on edge in the wake of recent shooting incidents.

“I’m a concerned citizen,” said Tisizele Scott, a community advocate and a resident of Channel Park Homes, where two people were injured by gunfire last month. “Channel Park Homes is a great place to live and raise your children. There are a lot of good and decent people who reside here in the housing authority. Whatever we have to do to make it safe for everyone … we should take every measure.”

Scott made her comments at a service she organized to address the growing concern about gun violence. Last weekend’s Unity in the Community service aimed to bring people together to discuss the issue. And at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Police Commissioner Michael Tangney detailed some of the efforts the department is making to fight gun violence, as well as the obstacles officers face. Residents also addressed the council, saying that violence in one part of Long Beach is an issue for the entire community.

On June 1, a man was shot in the arm at the Channel Park Homes. On June 18, Long Beach police arrested three men after several gunshots rang out as police broke up a crowd of hundreds who had gathered on the beach. The very next day, a teen was shot in the leg in broad daylight at the Channel Park Homes.

Last November, more than 30 shots were fired and one man was injured at Sycamore Court and National Boulevard.

Residents who attended Sunday afternoon’s service, held in a courtyard in the Channel Park Homes, said they are fed up with gun violence in the area. Residents and North Park community leaders and city officials stood in a circle and held hands, while religious leaders offered prayers for the community, and urged the youth involved in the violence to make a change.

“The gun violence has to stop,” said the Rev. Mark Moses of the New Life Church of Christ. “We need to take this city back. People have tried to come in and take this city down. Let’s get together. We will make the difference.”

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