By Jim Smilie
Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy told members of the Rotary Club of Alexandria Tuesday afternoon that he has received more responses than usual regarding a city press release issued Monday regarding a number of violent crime events over the weekend.
Noting Roy was in attendance, Rotary Club President Robert Taylor referenced the report in Tuesday’s edition of the Rapides Parish Journal, A Frank Discussion: City informs citizens of recent shootings | Rapides Parish Journal, and asked Roy if he would comment on the report.
“This may look planned, but I assure you it wasn’t,” Roy said as he stepped to the podium. “These shootings — they’re kids. To me, anyone 22 and under is a kid. And they are killing each other.”
Regarding the release, which offered a lengthy recap of the numerous violent crimes taking place Saturday and Sunday in Alexandria, including multiple shootings and one homicide, as well as commentary and action steps to address the violence, Roy said he, “spent a few hours on it yesterday (Monday) and obviously a lot of thought before that” on how to address the issue.
Roy reiterated many of the points in the release, including the fact the majority of the cases involve young people, illegal weapons and disputes or “beefs” that start out on social media. Regarding gun violence, Roy noted, “This isn’t about Second Amendment rights or how you feel about that. These are illegal guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. And they are killing each other over these beefs.”
Roy acknowledged the enormity of the problem and encouraged citizens to get involved to help address the issues. “Please, read the release and then let’s talk,” he said.
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