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Frustrated Portsmouth residents press city council on plan to crack down on gun violence

“There's a disconnect between the City of Portsmouth and the people who live in it. We don't trust you!"
Portsmouth City Council meeting speaker (July 27).png
Posted at 11:22 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 23:22:47-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Frustrated residents got a chance to sound off at Tuesday’s Portsmouth City Council meeting, wanting to know when and what the city is doing to crack down on the violence in their neighborhoods.

One of the items on the agenda - a grant to fund anti-violence initiatives.

But residents and activists weren't satisfied, saying the funding just isn't enough.

"Four hundred thousand dollars y’all givin' to prevent gun violence... out of $58 million? Ha... let's see what that do,” said one of the speakers at the meeting. “There's a disconnect between the City of Portsmouth and the people who live in it. We don't trust you!"

These sentiments mirror the ones citizens expressed at a previous city council meeting on July 16. A city spokesperson said a coalition of community members is meeting now to discuss initiatives and techniques to address the uptick in gun violence.

Vice Mayor De'Andre Barnes asked City Manager Angel Jones Tuesday to come up with a strategy to fight gun violence and present it at the next council meeting.

Jones said she is currently working on a community survey to hand out to civic associations and get some input from everyone.

You can watch a replay of the city council meeting below: