HOUSTON - Residents in Third Ward are coming together to stop what they call a rise in crime that has gotten out of control.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joined the residents at a meeting held at Third Ward’s Good Hope Church. The mayor says it will take "all of us working together" to keep the city safe.
"This problem will not be solved unless we come together to solve it," Good Hope Church Pastor DZ Cofield agrees.
Uniting against lawlessness isn’t the only suggestion coming from the "No More Crime" gathering, which was put on by resident Sharon Evans-Brooks, who says more clubs and bars in the area seem to bring more violence and crime.
"It has become a living nightmare, not only for myself, but for our seniors," says Evans-Brooks.
"It’s no way five people should be shot on Wednesday and you’re open on Thursday," adds Tomaro Bell with MacGregor Super Neighborhood. She's referring to the five people shot outside Spivey’s Bar and Grill on Blodgett Street last week. So residents are asking for establishments where crime occurs to be closed pending an investigation.
"You have a responsibility to make sure you protect your patrons and your neighbors and the people that are around you and if you do not we will take whatever steps we need to take to shut you down. An action will be filed against Spivey's by Wednesday of this week," says Mayor Turner.
One resident says his son was killed outside that bar two years ago.
"And I’m really hurt about it and I’m glad to see you people out here to do something about it," the man said from the podium.
"The bail bond reform has to stop as well," says Bell.
"I’m up to 165 people who have been murdered. These are lives who were destroyed," says Andy Kahan with Houston Crime Stoppers while pointing to dozens of pictures on a board.
"Several times the District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to revoke his bond to get him back in custody. That didn’t happen. As a result 11-year-old Darius Dugas paid the price. He paid the price with his life, and he’s not the only one. 23-year-old Summer Chester a TSU student was killed by a defendant that was released on a Capital Murder bond. We have over 110 people out on bond for capital murder. I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I've never seen so many people out on Capital Murder bonds," Kahan says.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner also attended the meeting and says HPD is committed to standing with residents to fight crime.
"The Mayor has equipped us with funding and support. We’re coming strong."