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Communites come together to stop the violence | News

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Communites come together to stop the violence

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Stop the Violence effort is hoping to join the Hispanic community in Little Rock to promote non-violence in the capital city.

Community Activist and head of the Stop the Violence Organization Reverend Benny Johnson says it's past time to address a growing epidemic: crimes against Hispanics.

Reverend Benny Johnson says--as always---solutions start with bringing voices together.

Those in the community say crimes similar to the case of restaurant worker Jesus Herarra must stop.

"I just hate to see crime committed against anybody," says Johnson. "I don't care whether they are white, black, Asian, German, Japanese."

To do this, Johnson says he's pulling together law enforcement, the community and Arkansas leaders in the form of a press conference.

Dr. Terry Richard of UALR says the surge in crimes against Hispanics is due to an increase in migration to the city.

Another factor he says for the rise in black on Hispanic crime: Hispanics are known for carrying large amounts of cash due to distrust of financial institutions. Richards says that distrust carries over to law enforcement. He says many who are here illegally feel they'll be deported.

Sgt. Cassandra Davis with Little Rock Police agrees.

"That's not our goal in trying to take a police report," says Davis. "We're not trying to deport them, only take information about the crime."

Sgt. Davis says her department needs more Spanish-speaking officers. Dr. Richard says a greater police presence along with Hispanic community leaders in key positions will work to reduce crime.

Reverend Johnson says this will be the focus of his press conference -- saving lives like that of Jesus Herrara.

Reverend Johnson says they have not confirmed a date and time for the press conference to bring community leaders together. He says he's now in the process of reaching out to the key players.


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