A civil rights group is heavily criticizing North Charleston leaders for their response to the level of gun violence this year, a charge the mayor angrily disputed.
The National Action Network said Mayor Keith Summey, the police department and the city council are not doing enough to curb gun violence and that too many firearms are coming into the area.
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, NAN state president Elder James Johnson claimed Police Chief Eddie Driggers and Summey largely discount black communities and aren’t reaching out to make personal connections with residents.
The mayor responded in a video message that parents need to take on greater responsibility for the recent violence rather than blaming local officials.
“The problem is we can’t raise your children. It is your responsibility to raise your children,” he said. “You have got to work with them, the community has got to work with them.”
NAN’s Johnson demanded the city allocate $7 million to bring back drug rehabilitation and education programs to help residents..
The group scheduled a town hall meeting regarding guns on Thursday in the park on Why Lane in Dorchester Terrace.
The National Action Network claims gun violence in North Charleston now surpasses even Chicago, a place that has received national attention for its gun violence, when measured as a percentage of population.
“I am very angry that it gets to this point,” said Johnson. “The mayor needs to realize that every black man that get’s shot in the street, he’s partly responsible for it.”