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'I hear you. I feel your anxiety, I feel your pain': Akron councilwoman Tara Samples writes emotional plea to end gun violence

"We are burying our young at an alarming rate and something must be done about it."

AKRON, Ohio — Violence in our nation's cities has become a topic of discussion this week after President Trump announced that he would be sending federal agents to several locations, including Cleveland.

And although Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams pledged that there "are no federal troops coming to the city of Cleveland," there is still plenty of anxiety about the level of violence in Northeast Ohio.

One Akron council member wrote an impassioned letter this week, pleading with citizens to do their part to end gun violence. 

"I hear you. I feel your anxiety, I feel your pain," wrote Tara Samples. "We must do something about gun violence here in the City of Akron. We are burying our young at an alarming rate and something must be done about it."

Samples referenced the president's announcement about federal troops moving into cities in her letter. "We cannot expect more from anyone if we are not expecting more from ourselves. No, we do not need a “federal” agency or “national guard” rolling into our city when we can just simply be our own voice, our own activists, and our own vindicators of justice. We cannot wait until it affects us personally to want change. We have to want it for our mothers, our fathers, our grandparents, our children, our grandchildren, for ourselves."

Although there are no federal troops coming to Cleveland as a part of "Operation Legend," Williams said there are already federal officers in Cleveland that work with local law enforcement.

"There are local, state and federal investigators here who are working together to combat violent crime in partnered law enforcement efforts," Williams said.

Cleveland Police also tweeted referencing existing partnerships, writing on Friday: "There are resources here and resources coming that are part of joint initiatives announced early this year."

Meanwhile in Canton, there were three separate homicides that took place in the city during a period of several hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, including the shooting death of a 19-month-old baby. 

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"We are also committing all possible resources to prevent a continuation or escalation of this violence. These are very challenging times, not only for Canton but for America. The COVID-19 pandemic, health risks, children out of school, life out of normal, unemployment, hot summer nights, and racial tensions associated with the George Floyd protests, on top of a continuing opiate fueled drug epidemic, and proliferation of high powered guns on the street, are fueling violence everywhere," said Canton Mayor Thomas Bernabei.

You can read Councilwoman Samples' letter below. 

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