UTICA - The community advocates who filled Utica's Empowerment Center Friday afternoon don't claim to have all the answers as to how to stem the recent tide of deadly gun violence in the city. But they're pleading for a cease fire while they, law enforcement, elected leaders and the community figure it out.
"Can we call a truce for a moment and just say, let's put the guns down. Let's figure some things out?" said Save our Streets Program Director, Patrick Johnson.
The group held the press conference in response to a recent violent streak that left a Utica man shot to death in Whitestown, a Utica man shot in the leg, on Roberts Street, in the city, and a Utica man shot dead on Lenox Ave. overnight Wednesday into Thursday. All of this, by mid-January.
"It takes a mental change," said 5th Ward Utica City Councilmember, Delvin Moody. "The use of guns to be the mitigation amongst people is what we're saying has to stop."
Moody has two meetings planned next week; one Wednesday night at Cornerstone Church, on Plant Street. That one is open to the public and those affected by the recent rash of gun violence are expected to attend. A private meeting is planned for Tuesday with the city police chief and other leaders.