Cleveland: Homicide rate on the rise

CLEVELAND -- A handful of homicides over the weekend has pushed the city's murder rate to an unusual high.

Thirty-nine people have lost their lives to gun violence since January.

Police are calling on residents to speak up, report crimes and help with investigations. But some say it's not enough.

Anita Crews has lived in Cleveland for three years.

With the growing violence, she's scared.

"I hear a lot of shooing at night when I sit in my room. I am scared. I cover my windows up at night so they can't see me sitting there watching TV," said Crews.

Recent crimes like the fatal shooting at a block party over the holiday weekend has pushed the homicide rate higher than the city has seen in four years.

In 2010, there were 20 homicides in the city between January and May.

For the next two years it jumped to 21 homicides.

By 2013, 35 people had lost their lives. And this year, there have been 39 homicides.

The police chief is calling on residents to speak up.

"It's up to the community to stand up, to say something, to make sure our officers get the information they need to mitigate these incidents," said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.

But Councilman Zack Reed says police need to be in the community interacting with residents before a crime happens.

"The approach we have used for far too long has been an approach of reaction. Let's try the proactive approach now. Let's go on the other side of the coin for a while," said Reed.

For Anita, the only way to stay safe is to move.

"I guess I'm going to change neighborhoods, find something a little quieter."

Even though the homicide rate has grown since 2010, police point out that some other crime involving guns are not on the rise.

They say felonious assaults involving guns has stayed the same from 2013 to 2014.


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