Military veteran talks about tearing down 9th Street Divide

Military veteran hopes to tear down 9th street divide

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Louisville Metro had over 100 homicides for the second year in a row, and one military veteran told WHAS11 News that it’s too much. 

 

For us to go to sleep with people within five miles of our house are being shot and killed, it needs to grab all of our attention,” said retired Brigadier General Rob Givens. 

 

He’s seen the loss of life all over the world after serving in the United States Air Force. Now, he’s frustrated to see so many lives taken here at home for ‘no reason.’

“If we lost 100 Americans tomorrow in Yemen, or Somalia or Korea, or anywhere, there would be an outrage. We would band together and we would try and solve that problem.  We've lost 100 Americans in Jefferson County alone, this year, 2017, and we still have another week to go. That needs to bring an outrage."

Givens believes part of the problem is a divided Louisville.

“The Ninth Street Divide is an actual divide. It's a physically daunting barrier and more of a phycological barrier to a lot of folks.  We've got to figure out a way to cross that.”

In September, Givens listened to several stories from those who lost loved ones, and others who survived being shot.  It was at the start of the Violent Crime Impact Report by the Pegasus Institute which recorded crime in Louisville over the last 15 years.

 

Givens said it’s important that those voices were heard, no matter what side of town they were coming from.

“When you see face to face the pain in their eyes, it is even more motivating to make this a safer place for us all to live.”

Givens said he is rallying for change in 2018, hoping for a peaceful and a more united Louisville. 

“People want to say West Louisville, East Louisville, South Louisville. There is only one Louisville, we are really all neighbors.”

The Violent Crime Impact Report released earlier this month recorded more than 1,000 homicides in the last 15 years in Louisville Metro, as well as more than 3,000 people sent to the hospital for gunshot wounds.   

© 2018 WHAS-TV


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