Updated 07/10/2011 11:12 AM
Schenectady leaders look for solutions to violence
Nearly one month since the shooting death of 15-year-old Eddie Stanley, community say it's time to find a way to prevent another young life from being cut short. Our Lori Chung reports.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- "Our mission is to bring healing, hope and awareness" said Treasure Clayton, making an impassioned plea for an overwhelming problem.
Community leaders grapple to find a solution for the deadly crime they say is sweeping through Schenectady.
"We're all very important role models in the community" said Clayton, Project HOPE President. "And, I think that we should collaborate our efforts to fight against violence."
The effort spearheaded by Project HOPE comes nearly a month after Eddie Stanley, 15, was gunned down after a party on Bridge Street. Many familiar with loss themselves, couldn't help but feel for the family of the rising high school basketball star whose promising life was cut short too soon.
"When I heard my son was murdered I took it kind of hard" said Theresa Weston who empathizes with Stanley's mother. "Give this woman some closure."
"I would like them to know that we are available to them" said Martha Lasher-Warner, Chapter Co-leader for Parents of Murdered Children.
Much of the focus is on how to make a stronger bond between the police and the community, which officials admit is a formidable problem.
"Evil flourishes where good people do nothing and you have to speak up" said Schenectady Police Chief Mark Chaires. "People can give statements or they can give us information anonymously."
"Snitching is not when you see someone you care about harmed in the street and you stand up, that's standing up" said Weston.
Among the messages of hope, leaders also point to the availability of programs for kids in the community that can help give the city's youth a sense of purpose and faith in the future.
"I want them to get hope" said Clayton.