Organizations looking to fight rise of killings in Columbus’ black community

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Members of the black community speak out after seeing the latest homicide numbers for February.

Homicides are up compared to that same time last year.​  The increase is alarming to leaders and families of victims left behind.​ 

Keendra Brown’s son Brenden was killed almost four months ago.  ​

“I know what I went through,” she said. “And so I know how other people feel as well and it’s hurtful to watch. Every time I see a young man get killed around my son’s age, I really feel for that parent. I know what they’re going through and it hurts.”

Brenden’s killer has yet to be caught. 

The number of black homicides rose 20 percent in February, compared to February of last year.

Columbus Urban League CEO Stephanie Hightower is aware of the numbers.​

Every day, it is her mission to provide impoverished youth with programs in place to help fight gun violence and gangs.​

“What I would like to do for us as a community, the finger-pointing — let’s look at how we can come up with solutions,” she said. “We are getting ready to have another summer where we’re going to have young people that will be unemployed. So how can the business community work alongside entities like the Columbus Urban League to look at job training and job opportunities for those young people.”

Brown agrees. As she waits for Columbus Police to find her son’s killer, she wants the black community to unite.​

“It’s going to take all of us to come together, really, and for these kids to really start caring about life,’ said Brown.

This past weekend, Brown celebrated her son’s birthday.​ Brenden would have been 19 years old.​

Anyone with any information about his death is asked to call Columbus Police at 614-645-4545.

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