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NAACP teams up with local groups to stop the violence

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A few of the largest organizations in Baton Rouge are teaming up to help detour youth violence in the city.

The Baton Rouge Chapter of the NAACP, East Baton Rouge Public Schools, Baton Rouge Police, C.A.T.S., YWCA and C.H.A.N.G.E. formed an alliance aimed at violence prevention.

“I am speaking from a mother’s standpoint, a mother that is going through the violence, that understands what a mother goes through when she gets that phone call,” Elizabeth Robinson said, the founder of C.H.A.N.G.E.

This announcement will be made on October 13, 2021, at 2:30 PM in front of the School District...
This announcement will be made on October 13, 2021, at 2:30 PM in front of the School District Office at 1050 South Foster Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.(WAFB)

Robinson’s son Lewis was murdered in 2018. Her son served six years in the Army, with deployments in Iraq. Three years after returning home, a bullet claimed his life.

He is one example out of hundreds of young people that have died in Baton Rouge over the last few years.

“We can’t attack the problem alone. The problem was here when we got here,” Michael McClanahan, Louisiana President of the NAACP said.

Groups with the same mission have come and gone throughout the city, but EBRS Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse believes this group is different.

“The reality is you have to do things in a coordinated way to help solve that problem,” Dr. Narcisse said. “We’re not just trying to think about when the action happens, it’s how to be preventative.”

Since the start of 2021, Baton Rouge has seen a murder rate of about 26 per 100,000 residents, ranking it as one of the highest in the country, according to data tracked by New Orleans crime analyst Jeff Asher.

The goal is to go into classrooms across the city and create constructive game plans and strategies to target kids that need it the most. Organizers say part of the plan is already underway at Woodlawn High School.

“You know we talk about group violence intervention when we talk about opportunities to prevent crimes from happening, that starts at the community level, it starts at the family level, and I cannot put a police officer in every home,” BRPD Chief Murphy Paul said.

”We have to make children’s dreams closer to them, and I think sometimes it’s not just telling a child, ‘We hope you’re doing ok.’ We have to figure out a way to get them to feel like that if they do this, this will help get them to the next level in this,” Dr. Narcisse said.

It’s a tall order, but these guys believe they can complete it.

“You know our younger kids think a little differently, so we have to be more proactive, engaging, and listening, and listening to the next generation on what issues matter to them and also encourage them to bring solutions to the table because there are generational differences when it comes to just living in America today,” Chief Paul said.

The group will hold a ‘Stop the Violence Education Rally’ Saturday, Oct. 16. It will take place at the Scotlandville Plaza from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Dr. Narcisse, Chief Paul, and several others will be in attendance to answer questions and concerns dealing with the current state of the city.

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