Mayor signs declaration of emergency after ‘carnage’ of gun violence

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Carnage—that’s the word Mayor Malik Evans used to describe the gun violence in Rochester.

Thursday, the mayor signed an emergency declaration giving him the powers he would have if the city were hit by a natural disaster—and News10NBC pressed the mayor for an example of what he could do.

Brean: "With this emergency declaration, I wonder if you could give the people who live and work in the city some idea of what change they’re going to see or what difference they’re going to see?"

Mayor Malik Evans: "For example, if there’s a particular street that we know is problematic I can shut that street down."

I went to one of those streets today. Clay Avenue runs between Lake and Dewey Avenues and I invited city council member Jose Peo who represents this street.

Three people were shot here Monday morning. The street is littered with garbage.

Jose Peo, City Council member, Northwest District: "We’re seeing the eruption of violence in our city where they know they can get away with it at this point, or at least it seems like or perception is they can get away with it."

Halfway down the street, we met Aaron. He says he’s going into 9th grade but he’s still not sure what school he’ll be in because the one he was going to closed in June.

Brean: "Are you worried about being injured with all the violence going on?"

Aaron: "No, because I don’t be in that."

Jose Peo: "I love that answer. I love to hear that."

Aaron told me he knows people who have been shot and killed.

"The way I see it, we’re living just to die. We’re living just to die So I’m just going to live my life the best way possible," he said.

Lavar Marble walked out of his home to join us.

"The problem today with society and kids is they have nothing to do," he said to Peo and I. "And when you have nowhere else to go, the street is the only place we look to."

Jose Peo: "I spoke with two gentlemen that were in gangs back in the day, back in the 90s, and they said the exact same thing — it’s so vastly different from when they were doing their thing where they had guns but never used it. They fought."

Marble: "And that’s what’s wrong with these kids today, they’re so quick to pick up a weapon."

Brean: "So what do you think about what you just heard?"

Peo: "That goes in line with what a lot of people are saying. It’s that it takes the entire community, not just the politicians. Not just the police. Not just the schools but it takes the entire community to really impact these kids and like he said we have to get the kids involved."

There are many things for young people to do in Rochester.

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