CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Eastside community in downtown Charleston was shaken a month ago when a man was shot and killed on Hanover Street.
That’s why they held a second community meeting Monday night about changes they want to see. More than 50 people gathered at the Second Presbyterian Church on Meeting Street.
The first meeting was held just days after 41-year-old Timothy Haman Jr. was murdered on Hanover Street. His death marked the sixth homicide in the city of Charleston this year.
“There were still things left unsaid, and realizing there was not enough engagement as it relates to us coming together, sitting, talking, sharing, and truly coming to a place we could articulate and map out next steps for our community to be strong, vibrant, and to be the community we all wish to live in and love," Kylon Middleton, a pastor from the Eastside, said.
After that, discussions took off. Each table was posed a question and after some discussions, they shared their proposals with the room.
“It allowed everyone to have a voice," Deborah Powell Anderson, who was born and raised in the neighborhood, said. "It allowed everyone to say their truth, and honestly, with no arguments, no guards going up. And as a result, a lot of information came out as dialogue.”
Neighbors recommended changes they could do themselves like increasing community engagement and eliminating the “no snitch” policy. But they also want help from elected leaders, like cleaning up public places and increasing police patrols.
But, Mohammed Idris’ goal was much bigger.
“Seeking unity in the community and wanting to see us to live up to the name of our city, which is called the Holy City," Idris said.
In order to do that, he says, it’ll take everyone. The discussion itself went an hour over the scheduled time.
"We have the law enforcement that's willing to work with us. We have to come together to report the problems. To be brave enough to say this has to change. I need to get to know you as a neighbor and you need to get to know me."
The pastor who led tonight’s meeting says there are more meetings to come. Nothing has been scheduled yet.