Louisville residents speak to WHAS11 about living in fear


by Renee Murphy


Posted on May 21, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Updated Monday, May 21 at 6:44 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Many of us never experience what they go through every day.

“No ma’am. I do not feel safe,” one Louisville resident said. “I literally do not talk to no one around here. I don't even come out and speak and say hi.”

Some neighbors in Beecher Terrace agreed to talk about what it's like living here and  living in fear, but only if we didn't show their faces.

These are their words. It’s a message they said you need to get.

Here is what a few residents had to say about the neighborhood they live in:

“That's why I have two guns. Sorry about that, to say it on camera like that.”

“On the street I keep a pocket knife or a stun gun.”

“The first time I seen somebody get killed it hurt my heart. The second time it hurt my heart, the third and fourth time I’m used to it."

“There is no hope for this community. I tell you the truth no hope.”

“I lived here eight years it took me a long time to get out of here and I’m gone I ain’t coming back."

“It just seems like when you are in this neighborhood you can't be nice and it makes me feel bad, to where, man, if I can’t be nice because people will take advantage of me. In other words, I might as well just be a wolf like you. If I be a wolf like you its gonna make people scared.”

We walked the neighborhood with Deputy Chief of LMPD Yvette Gentry. She said there will be a noticeable increase of police officers in troubled areas, especially near Beecher Terrace where the barrack style housing proves difficult to fight crime.

“From a police stand point on a scale of 1 - 10 how would you rank what's happening here?” WHAS11 said.

Lt. Col. Gentry said “it's a 10 because it's different than anything we've seen before.”

Rodney Brown has been arrested, carried a gun and has seen people killed. Now, he works on a video project to send a message to young people about stopping gun violence.

“Some people do this because they think it’s the cool thing to do.  Some people do this because they have nothing else.  Others do this because they are motivated by their peers to do these things,” Brown said.

Brown said many people want to be feared and that is part of the reason why there is no regard for human life.

“It's hard for them to care about something when they feel like no one cares about them,” s Brown said. “They want people to look at him like ‘hey, he's that guy’ instead of looking at him like ‘he's that guy’ in a positive outlook they want that negative stereotype where people fear them.”

Brown said part of the problem was highlighted on Thursday when Makeba Lee was gunned down near the crime scene of a quadruple shooting at 32nd and Kentucky. Lee was killed in front of police, in front of a crowd of more than a hundred people.

“If she can't be protected when she's speaking to the police who is gonna protect us when they are not around.” one resident said.