NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — When Raheeim General was murdered on the fire escape at 49-51 Blackhall Street it was the first homicide in the city this year. But then during the last couple of weekends there were three more homicides which is why the community is coming together at the nearby Trinity Missionary Baptist Church tonight.
“I’m hoping not just to meet but to come up with some solutions,” said Rev. Wade Hyslop.
He leads his congregation every Sunday and now he’s hoping the pews will be filled with people hoping to help stop the recent violence.
“I believe there are a lot of underlying problems one being unemployment, two being drugs, and probably domestic violence as well,” said Rev. Hyslop.
The community forum set for 6 p.m. Friday is part of a partnership between the community and police who just arrested 28 year old Jersom Hudson for the murder of Travon Brown last weekend. New London Police Capt. Brian Wright believes dialogue is key to keeping the city safer.
“We just want to ensure that the community knows that we’re there and we are able to understand their concerns and address issues that they bring forth.,” said Capt. Wright.
“I wholeheartedly believe that if we start respecting one another, respect life itself that we can basically find ourselves doing what needs to be done,” said Rev. Hyslop.
“I thank god for Rev. Hyslop because I went to prison. I was a drug dealer myself and he’s the one who saved my life,” said resident Janice Blow.
She is a recovering addict going on 17 years now and applauds this effort.
“If the community gets back together and do what we’re supposed to do which is connect with each other and understand where each other is coming from we can get this done,” said Blow.
Rev. Hyslop has no doubt that some good ideas will come out of the forum. He is just hoping that they will be able to implement them.