Street violence in Charleston, Huntington

Earlier this week, the Rev. Al Sharpton was in Charleston. He was part of a rally that urged prosecutors to file hate crime charges in the rape and torture of Megan Williams in Logan County. But as this case continues to gain attention, some say that leaders like Sharpton, local politicians and the community itself are ignoring more pressing issues.

Of particular concern is recent escalation of street violence. On December 8th, Charleston was the scene of three separate-but-related shootings that criss-crossed the city.

One man was killed, two were seriously wounded and two others have been arrested. Murders are certainly not unheard of in Charleston, but the nature and circumstances surrounding them are changing in the view of Pastor Matthew Watts. He heads an organization in Charleston that works with at-risk youth and juvenile offenders.

  

He spoke with Beth Vorhees this week on our television program Outlook, as did Brandi Jones. She’s the director of administration in Huntington, and a former member of city council. Huntington is also a city that’s been the scene of high-profile murders and shootings in recent years, most notably the murder of four teen-agers on prom night in 2005.

Below is video of that conversation (and comments made by Al Sharpton), a transcript and a condensed version that aired on the radio program West Virginia Morning.

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