Statement from James Sheppard in Response to Warren's Press Conference on Gun Violence

The Mayor held a news conference today to proclaim June as Gun Violence Awareness Month. 

Considering the number of gun-related violent events that occurred over the Memorial Day weekend, we don’t need a reminder of what we all know to be true - our city is in crisis.  We are already painfully "aware."

For the past three and a half years Mayor Warren has repeatedly proclaimed crime is down and our city is safe and getting safer; however, the number of gun-related violent events erupting daily in our neighborhoods proves this to be wishful thinking. The City’s own safety study doesn’t even support this claim, as the survey found that 73.7% of residents do not feel safer this year compared to last, and 83% of police officers said they feel less effective since the partial RPD reorganization took effect. The fact is, gun violence is exploding in our streets and the Mayor has been missing in action. We have a long way to go before our streets can be deemed safe and getting safer.

As a former Police Chief, I know that data can be twisted to tell a story, and there are all sorts of national or local trends that you can point to in service of whatever narrative one chooses to spin. However, the bottom line is this: Mayor Lovely Warren has been glaringly absent on this issue, and has abdicated her most important responsibility as the leader of our city - keeping our citizens safe. 

Our city clearly has a gun violence problem. To tackle this in a substantive way, we need real leadership that is more interested in results than press events. As your Mayor, you won't have to wait to hear from me when tragedy occurs. I will acknowledge this problem, fight it, and do everything in my power to keep it from continuing.