Mayor, SCLC & Police Chief Meet

It is the latest twist in a double homicide -- turned fugitive hunt -- turned questions over downtown safety.

It was a week ago that two young men lost their lives on the streets of downtown Greenville to random gun violence.

Monday, Rufus Huggins, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference President called a meeting between Greenville Mayor Pat Dunn and Police Chief William Anderson -- to iron out problems with what he calls racial inequalities in the downtown scene.

Huggins invited WITN to sit-in, but when we got there--our access was denied.

The meeting lasted two hours. When it was over Huggins said he it was about respect. "One, is the way blacks we're being treated down there at the bars and everything, and we want everyone to be treated the same. We're concerned about that and a rough shot over people. And also to ensure the situation with the Richardson family that fairness and equality will come about."

James Richardson -- who is now behind bars charged with a double murder -- turned himself in on Saturday. A day after, his mother came to his defense scrutinizing Anderson for what she calls unfairly convicting him in the media. We've tried to talk to Anderson for reaction -- but he's repeatedly denied our request.

Greenville Mayor Pat Dunn is talking and focusing on the positive, saying the police chief and the entire force are trying to keep the streets safe. "They have had a lot of police presence in the downtown area on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights when there are literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people down here. One only has to come in the evening to see that presence is down here."

But Dunn says she can't ignore the recent violence and is concerned for the citizens and the businesses downtown. "We're working with the bar owners and the business owners in the uptown area. They're very concerned and we're gonna take a look at the kinds of things they're doing and the city is going to look at what we're doing and try to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Both mayor Dunn and Huggins say the meeting had a positive outcome and both agree a lot was accomplished. Dunn says she is confident more patrol officers downtown will crack down on the recent violence.

Chief Anderson had no comment about the meeting.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by george Location: pitt county on Jul 10, 2009 at 06:51 PM
    TO: Observer Location: Greenville on Jul 7, 2009 at 08:01 PM-There is a law against standing/loitering on the side walk. Check the city ordinances.
  • by Grow up Sam on Jul 10, 2009 at 06:40 PM
    Sam just what would you do if these young thugs would use a deragatory against you. I am 37 years old and when any person(because it is not only youth) says any wrong thing to me I just ignore them. Like any respectful grown-up would. I teach my son that. Words cannot hurt you. Do not throw stone for stone. Causes more violence.
  • by looking for the inequality on Jul 10, 2009 at 05:33 PM
    i fully understand the concept of the community strengthening and standing against crime, but this problem is not fixable by rallying alone. where were the sclc members when all the crime was going on this winter? it just seems more convenient to rally when it potentially creates a racial issue. gangs are getting out of hand, theyre the real trouble in the town of greenville, and i BET they are the biggest reason why people arent wanting black ppl in clubs. its not right, but i bet the gangs are to blame for the discrimination of their own people. just like terrorists are to blame for the fear of people from the mideast. as far as comments on websites...ive learned on this website alone that all kinds of people can be absolutely hateful and backwards. its their right to feel what they do, i hate to say! fyi, sclc member, most of the ppl posting racially hateful statements are probably NOT educated college students!
  • by pete Location: grifton on Jul 10, 2009 at 11:59 AM
    Guess this is why the gun shops are now full,wake up doo-fus.
  • by hope Location: NC on Jul 10, 2009 at 11:01 AM
    I rest my case.
  • by SCLC Member on Jul 10, 2009 at 10:11 AM
    SCLC did not use the race card. We had a meeting concerning comments posted on various websites. The question of Security in these clubs getting out of hand with patrons is not a novel idea. Based on these comments ECU students want to keep blacks out of their club and from downtown. Students please remember you are guest in our community and you need to act as such. ECU brings a lot to Greenville's community but, please remember it is just one aspect and the citizens of these town is what make it great. I am 32 and I used to pratically live downtown and never encountered the amount of discrimination I had last time I went downtown.
  • by P on Jul 10, 2009 at 06:25 AM
    I agree with the Bill Cosby comments, they were straight and to the point.
  • by hope Location: NC on Jul 10, 2009 at 05:48 AM
    To concerned citizen that stated "would like for SCLC to publicly condemn senseless violence...would go a long way towards gaining more credibility with whites." I have to agree, when I see NAACP or now the SCLC I too turn a deaf ear. I applauded Bill Cosby when he gave that now famous speech. He was RIGHT ON, & the truth hurts. The black race needs to stop making excuses for the bad behavior of SOME of their youth. Again, when promising young kids are gunned down in the streets there should be a public outcry regardless of race. Likewise, the shooter should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of race. As for Richardson, he will have his day in court, & should be PROVEN guiltly.
  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Greenville on Jul 9, 2009 at 08:27 PM
    looking for inequalities .... having a rally brings it to the communities attention and potentially gets people who normally would not be involved or care to start caring about what is going on in there community. It has to start somewhere. Get people motivated and let them know that they dont have to live in fear or live with crime going on around them.
  • by looking for inequalities Location: check your community on Jul 9, 2009 at 07:14 PM
    rallying for peace, rallying around a criminal bc hes black is not really productive at all. how about proactively work towards peace by ridding your neighborhoods of thugs by calling the cops on em. how about 'rallying' around young black children BEFORE they know how to pick up a gun and shoot someone with it? standing in the street with candles, signs and a whole lot of hope is totally useless but im sure it gets you good coverage if youre the pres of the sclc.

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