Reality of Race: Black On Black Crime - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Reality of Race: Black On Black Crime

Reality of Race: Black On Black Crime

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CHARLESTON, SC -

A North Charleston man says the man who fatally shot his nephew on Saratoga Avenue in North Charleston had been at his house for dinner the day before.  Darrel Greene says he is distraught over the death of 19-year-old Rodriguez Henderson.

"Just to take somebody's life like that. (that's) cold blooded murder," Greene says.

North Charleston police say Terrance Lance,  a suspect in the fatal shooting, surrendered to authorities Thursday. North Charleston investigators say the fatal shooting of Henderson stemmed from an earlier fight with Lance.

Charleston County coroner Rae Wooten says Henderson's death is a tragedy but part of a dismal trend for black men in Charleston.  "Homicide is the leading cause of death for young black males in Charleston County," Wooten says. 

According to the Charleston County coroner's office in 2012, 30 black males between the age of 18 and 57 were shot to death in Charleston County.  During that same time period 4 white males were killed.

"I don't know what the causes are but it feels like unless we can understand what is driving that, it is really hard to know what to do to change it," Wooten says.

The pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist church in North Charleston says the epidemic of black men killing black men will continue as long as people believe they have no connection to the victim because of race.  Reverend Nelson B Rivers III, who is also National Vice President of the NAACP says scientific data suggests that young black male suspects and the victims of fatal shootings are immature and impulsive.  Rivers says many have not been taught how to resolve conflicts.  "There is an entirely different way of processing data at the age 20 than at the age of  40.  Our job is how do we change that,"  Nelson says.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey recently pushed successfully to have a North Charleston Police officer in every elementary school. 

"I don't think we can afford to give up on the generation that is there now but we have still got to change the environment for the next generation coming forward,"  Summey says

There is a grassroots effort by community organizers and neighbors to walk the streets at night to prevent gun violence.  Wooten says it is too late for some, but she is willing to work with anyone to save others.

"We've got to figure out where this starts why it starts and how do we stop  that. I don't think we can change it until we can do that I am happy to work with anybody who wants to try."

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