Lowcountry state rep to host meeting in response to shootings on Charleston’s eastside

Updated: Sep. 27, 2019 at 4:37 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Rep. Wendell Gilliard, who represents part of Charleston at the statehouse in Columbia, is inviting the public to help create solutions to make the downtown east side neighborhood safer Friday.

At least two shootings within a week led to multiple deaths in the community of downtown Charleston.

Rep. Gilliard, who was born and raised in that community, says now is the time to put actions over words.

“Too often, too many times you hear people say oh we need to come together," he said. "No we’ve been coming together for a thousand years now. What we need is progress. What we need is boldness, people who are not afraid to stand up and talk. See something say something, yes. But the only way that’s going to happen is first you have to create a dialogue with the community.”

Rep. Gillard says more resources and increased community relations with law enforcement is a step in the right direction.

He says the forum will also focus on a piece of the conversation that is often left out.

“We don’t talk about the after effect," he said. "We don’t talk about the impact it has on our children. Because every crime you have in these neighborhoods, chances are a child was present. What are we doing for that? We don’t ever hear any resolve in that area or resolutions in that area. We need to talk about those things.”

The forum is open to the public. It will be held at the International Longshoremen’s Association Hall at 5:30 p.m. A prayer vigil will follow the event.

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