Residents plead for end to violence in neighborhood - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Residents plead for end to violence in neighborhood

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- We're nearly halfway through the year and, already, the City of Alexandria has seen at least a half a dozen homicides.

The majority of those murders have occurred within district 1 of the city. That area consists of streets like Monroe, Levin and Rapides.

News Channel 5's Brooke Buford went into the neighborhood to talk to residents and the district's city councilman about crime and what can be done to stop it.

"We have lost our way," said Sandra Franklin, a district 1 resident.

Sandra Franklin wants to get her neighborhood back on track.

"It's a big task," said Franklin. "It's going to take all of us as citizens in this community and district, as well as the City of Alexandria, to create the positive. Let us see how we can build from this."

Franklin has lived in district 1 of the city for 24 years. She, like some others, say in recent years the neighborhoods have declined because of high crime rates.

"It's in the heat of the moment action," said Pastor Roger Green, Sr. of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church off of Rapides Avenue. "It really sets in while they're in the courtroom and they realize they have just committed murder and they're looking at life imprisonment."

There have been, at least, a half dozen homicides in the city so far this year.

Of that half dozen, several have occurred in district 1.

The district's city councilman, Ed Larvadain, says that's disheartening. 

"The biggest issue we have is we have is young folks who have issues among themselves," said Larvadain. "Conflict resolution. The young generation is having problems resolving issues. They feel that the way to resolve issues is with guns."

Larvadain says the community shouldn't be stereotyped for its crime. He believes they can still turn it around.

"I'm encouraging young folks to put the guns down," he said. "Stop the violence. We have to live in peace. We have to work together in peace."

Living in peace is exactly what residents like Sandra Franklin hope to see soon. She believes it's possible.

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