2016 labeled deadliest year in a decade for Richmond

Published: Jan. 3, 2017 at 4:12 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2017 at 8:28 AM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The year 2016 is being labeled as the deadliest year in a decade for Richmond, with the murder rate up fifty percent from 2015. As the city moves into 2017, community activists are trying to stop more lives from being taken.

The Richmond Police Department has a list of those killed in 2016.

It shows their cases, most unsolved, and where the killing happened.

While the number of homicides is lower than the number that plagued the city throughout the 1990s, even one is too many for the family affected.

"We have to bear the burden together. How do we get rid of crime like this?" questioned Charles Willis, with Communities United Against Crimes. Throughout the year of 2016, Willis held a prayer vigil almost every week for a homicide victim.

"I believe Chief Durham and his department is working hard to deploy more police to our communities, more resources. But I also think the city has to look at the resources being put into our neighborhoods," he explained, adding that the fighting doesn't start in the police department, it starts in our homes.

"It is normal for [young people] to see police in their neighborhoods, run in and bring someone in handcuffs. It is normal for them to attend a funeral, and that shouldn't be normal," he expressed, saying the community needs to do more to teach kids about conflict resolution.

RPD does have a homicide support group.

The city says it was born out of necessity, creating a place of support and healing for survivors of homicide victims.

The Richmond Homicide Support Group meets the first Wednesday of each month at Richmond Police Training Academy, 1202 W. Graham Street. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.

For more information, contact 804-646-6754.

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