City leaders host community forum to discuss spike in violent crimes

There have been 57 murders in Charlotte this year, and on top of that, there's been a rise in violent crimes. 

Neighbors looking for a solution packed a community meeting hosted by Mayor Vi Lyles. While people were having discussions inside the Belmont Center, others were outside watching in as they reached capacity.

"I wanted to hear what the mayor said and what her plan of action is," community member Charles Robinson said. 

Inside of a modest room at the Belmont Center, people shared what they felt needed to happen to change the script and turn around this violent trend in Charlotte.

"A lot of kids are murdering each other over nothing," said Robinson. 

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CMPD and Mayor Vi Lyles partnered to hold a forum to they can get results for a community sick of the growing crime. One thing they discussed was how to de-escalate disagreements rather than resort to weapons.

"The data that we have around the homicides shows that people are killing each other, in part, because they don't know how to manage conflict," said Willie Ratchford, the Executive Director of the Community Relations Committee. 

Some said it's parents' responsibility to keep their kids in check.

"You can go all around in this room. You have to go back to the parent," one community member said. 

With the recent uptick in deadly shootings between teenagers, some told FOX 46 they wished more young adults and kids showed up like this 12-year-old.

"This session was amazing, to be honest. Everybody was just sharing their point of view and it was just awesome to get to know what everybody was thinking," the young man told FOX 46. 

Not everyone had a positive experience. Some couldn't get in the building at all after they reached capacity with a few dozen people.

"She should have had this where the folk could come in and express their concerns," Robinson said. "The community's here today. The community should not be locked out of a community center. That's irresponsible." 

A sheet was also passed around for people to fill out to really study how they personally deal with conflict. Maybe some learned a bit about themselves tonight as well.