BOSTON (WHDH) — Community leaders gathered outside Franklin Park on Wednesday night, calling for more action from city officials following a spate of violence in Boston.
The group called on the police commissioner and the mayor to adjust their approach to public safety after several violent weeks in the city, which included a 17-year-old being shot outside a high school last week and a 14-year-old being shot dead -year-old boy in Roxbury on Monday.
The recent series of violence culminated in Dr. Jean McGuire, 91, was stabbed multiple times while walking her dog in Franklin Park on Tuesday night.
“Why can’t a 91-year-old woman have the faith or trust in her community to just walk her dog?” said Tania Fernandes Anderson, Boston City Councilman. “It’s unbelievable! And that’s why I’m here to tell you that we can’t take this any longer.”
“We will not rest as a community until the person who committed this crime is brought to justice,” said Reverend Kevin Peterson of the New Democracy Coalition.
“We are devastated by the trauma this community has endured for far too long,” said Charles Yancey, a former Boston city councilman. “And Jean McGuire himself fought against that violence.”
The recent wave of violence was also the main theme of the recent Boston School Committee meeting.
“We must come together to end this senseless violence,” said one committee member. “Our schools and our parks need to be safe places for these residents of all ages to grow and thrive.”
Speakers outside Franklin Park Wednesday called on the mayor to appoint a special police chief who they hope can coordinate with the black community in the areas of Boston where the most violent crimes occur.
Those who visited McGuire in hospital said she was less concerned for herself and more concerned about the family who lost their 14-year-old boy in a shooting just a day before McGuire’s attack.
Everyone was relieved to know McGuire is in stable condition but remained passionate about the need for change.
“When a 14-year-old child is murdered and a day later a 91-year-old grandmother is stabbed and assaulted while walking in the park, that is a tragic day in our community,” said Randy Muhammad of the Muhammad Mosque. “And we need to get up and do something else.”
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