James Sheppard’s comment on RIT Homicide Study and City Hall reaction

First, to the 42 families who lost a loved one to homicide in Rochester last year, we grieve with you. This level of killings is the highest in six years and each and every one of us is diminished by each unnecessary and tragic death. 

Secondly, I was disappointed to hear the response from City Hall to the study - which also shows that if corrected for population, we are stride-for-stride with Chicago for homicides. This is unacceptable and not something to be dismissed. I am appalled by the Administration’s explanation that Rochester having more group killings has skewed the numbers. That's the message we want to send to those 42 families?  

This “spin” is in keeping with how this administration responds to all bad news -  by side-stepping and avoiding it.  

When's the last time this administration has stood up to acknowledge a homicide? A double homicide? A triple homicide? A quadruple homicide? A mother and daughter dying as a result of arson?  If you can't acknowledge a problem, you cannot solve it.

We have a homicide and violence problem in Rochester and as Mayor, I intend to own it, fight it and do everything in my power to solve it.