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Mentor points to systemic racism as cause for Richmond violence

Posted at 11:48 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 23:55:20-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Another man was shot in Mosby Court Wednesday afternoon marking the latest in a spate of shootings throughout the month.

Richmond's East End is averaging a shooting a day in September, primarily due to gang-related violence.

"A gang going by and just shooting people. They don't care who they shoot," said a witness to Wednesday’s shootout on Q Street.

"You got a lot of elderly people around here, we can't sit on our porch without someone shooting," she said.

The city has had several drive-by shootings in recent days.
In a gun battle last Friday a family dog was killed after being shot in the neck.

"It's heart-wrenching. I’m just being honest with you,” said Kevin Starlings who has spent time working with and mentoring city youth.

"A lot of people are behind the scenes trying to do the good work, but without city leaders really getting involved and taking a holistic approach, nothing is going to change,” Starlings said.

"Black families in America - and typically we look at our youth - have a higher chance of dying because of bullets flying rather than from a car accident,” Starlings said. “And that's disturbing to me."

In Gilpin Court last week, more than 100 shell casings were found right next to Interstate 95 at the peak of rush hour. CI sources said a young man popped up from the bed of a pickup truck an more than 100 shell casings were found d started spraying the streets with gunfire.

One person was injured in the shooting.

"The neighborhoods are so plagued by violence, it's like a true war zone," said Starlings.

Starlings and others say it’s time to have a serious conversation about tearing the projects down.

“Probably the most racist and largest thing in Richmond is our Black and brown folks being segregated in certain areas divided by a major highway,” Starlings said. “You look at Richmond history and Black leadership throughout the years. It hasn't changed."

Bryan Johnson, a Richmond father, spoke up on my Facebook live feed Wednesday night about the shootings.

“Men, let these times be a reminder why it is so important to be in our sons’ lives. Because it hits different when it's our son.”