Gun violence has ripped the Cincinnati neighborhood of Evanston apart over the past three days. The Cincinnati Enquirer quotes on local activist as declaring: “Evanston is not going to be known as a place where gang violence is tolerated.”
Via federally funded programs, community outreach projects, and a police crackdown on drug activity, most residents had begun to feel as if the neighborhood had gotten a handle on crime. Three shootings in three days, one fatal, have again cast a shadow over the predominantly African-American neighborhood of 7,928.
Edward Perkins, owner of a local lounge, said the problem lies with parents of youths who are committing crimes. “Some of the parents today are young mothers who don’t have fathers in the home,” he said. “They don’t really know where the kids are themselves.”
Drew Asimus, president of the Evanston Business Association, said police must do more undercover drug buys and surveillance. Foot patrols and driving by in cruisers might disperse criminals for a short time, but they always return, he said.
Police Capt. Michael Cureton, commander of District 2, said residents’ concerns aren’t falling on deaf ears. “You have to be craftier and craftier to catch (criminals),” he said. “But this is a problem that cannot be solved with only arrests.” Cureton said that more drug dealers are being robbed by other criminals; the victims aren’t likely to cooperate in investigations.