Teen says meetings won't help, center will try new tactics

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by Alex Schuman

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 11:46 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 28 at 7:49 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- People packed into the room to give their feedback about the recent teen mob attacks.

Jayjuan Taylor is one of the teens who came to the safe neighborhood meeting.

"The meeting, it didn't help,” Taylor said. “Like they had kids from private schools that don't even live... they don't go through what I go through."

The director of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods Anthony Smith says 80 people attended.  40 were young, ranging from 18 to a young boy in third grade.

"They pushed back a little bit,” Smith said. “Saying we need to go out into the community and talk to some folks.  They said we might not of had the right kids in the room.  So we need might need to go out and have some more of that.  So we're gonna plan some more conversations."

Taylor claims a lack of options for teens and kids in certain neighborhoods is one reason behind the violence.

"We need something to do.  It's boring out here.  Like we have nothing else to do," Taylor said. “Community centers are not community centers no more.  It was at one time, but now, it's not the same."

Another group at the Big Four Bridge, not far from the community meeting location and was the site of some of the most violent attacks.  This group came out to stand up for Jim Henry, the grandfather assaulted in front of his grandkids on the bridge.

"Nobody's saying kids can't come down here and enjoy themselves.  But they're not allowed to come down here and beat people up anymore," Cheryl Jaggers said.

Police do have more presence in Waterfront Park and near the Big Four Bridge.  But information released to WHAS11 news by the Chief of Police shows since Saturday’s attacks, police dealt with two assaults on Sunday, one robbery and an assault on Monday.

In the last three months 21 different crimes have occurred mostly involving narcotics and robbery.

Taylor said gangs are common among Louisville teens.

"You can address it all you want to I mean, it's not gonna stop,” Taylor said. “It's just a cycle.  Like it was gangs, a hundreds years ago.  There was gangs a hundred years ago.  That's really it."

Smith does plan to try and make some kind of difference by listening to teens like Taylor.  Changing where, and who, adults try to talk with.

"They gave us some next steps so it was a pretty positive conversation," Smith said.
 

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