City Councilor Calls For Hearing Following Spate of Gun Violence

Mayoral candidate Mike Ross wants the appropriate board to meet and discuss ways to quell the problem.

Boston is experiencing a gun-violence crisis.

Over the past weekend alone, three people were shot and killed at a house party on Intervale Street in Roxbury. So far, officers only have a slight lead in the investigation, and are calling on witnesses in the community to come forward with additional information in connection with the incident.

The latest homicides add to a growing list of people whose lives have been impacted by gun violence in the city. As David Bernstein reported, following the recent deaths over the weekend, “in [the] 66 days since the Marathon, Boston had 67 shooting victims” both fatal, and non-fatal. During the summer months of July and August, the most violent months during the year, Boston sees anywhere between 30 and 40 shootings per month.

Despite a concerted effort from Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and officers to try and cut those numbers in half this summer, City Councilor Mike Ross thinks that it is time to talk about the problem since it’s on the rise.

On Monday, the mayoral candidate filed a request for a hearing to be convened by the appropriate City Council committee to examine the ways gun violence and gun violence prevention efforts are being handled in Boston.

According to Ross, in the last year, shootings in the city between January 1, and June 10, have increased nearly 25%. Of the 104 people who have been impacted by gun violence in 2013, 17 have lost their lives, averaging nearly 30% more deaths from shootings than the same time period in 2012. “The increase in violence in this past year has created the need to further examine our deployment strategies for this…summer,” Ross said in his order for a hearing regarding gun violence.

He said the Boston Police Department is already in the process of internally looking at policies pertaining to putting a stop to the rash of gun-related incidents and recent murders, and meeting with community partners to increase their efforts to deal with the problem. But Ross believes a meeting between organizations and residents is still needed. “[In the past], during times of growing violence, the Boston City Council has convened hearings with the police, non-profits, and our community partners to publicly discuss what the city is doing to decrease violence in our streets,” Ross wrote in his filing on June 26.

Ross’ request will go before the full City Council on Wednesday for consideration, before being designated to the appropriate committee for discussion.