Community activists working to curb violence in the Lowcountry - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Community activists working to curb violence in the Lowcountry

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Ariel Morgan, shooting victim Ariel Morgan, shooting victim
BERKELEY COUNTY, SC - Community activists say they have a plan to help fight the growing problem of violence in the Lowcountry.

They held a press conference in Goose Creek that was attended by many friends and supporters of crime victims.

"I'm angry. And the whole community should be angry."Elder James Johnson is President of the Tri-County National Action Network. They are focusing their anger on the problem.

"You take a young man of 13-14 years old, who's packing a 9mm. It makes him feel like he has power. We need to take that power away from him." They are taking several steps toward cutting into that power.

They say they plan to gather bus loads of people to meet with Governor Haley later this month. "We want Governor Haley to put a task force together to go into these communities and find out exactly where these guns are coming from in these communities."

Johnson says he wants to see anyone who is caught illegally possessing a gun to get a minimum one year in jail. "All these premeditated murders... I want to see these young mans in jail without any possibility of parole. They need to spend the rest of their life in jail, because if they get out, they might do it again."

They also want to help those who are hurting.

Monica Jefferson's son, Malcolm C. Jefferson II, was killed last year on his 18th birthday. She runs a support group to help parents who have lost their children, but it is also open to friends of crime victims. "You feel the loss as we do. You feel the loss. Morgan probably felt like a sister to you."

They say the criminals have to be stopped, or things will only get worse.

Charles Tyler, the Vice-President of the Tri-County National Action Network said, "They are fueling the other generation behind this generation that is doing all this trouble now. This second generation is more turbulent than the one that we are seeing perpetrating this killing today. We have to get involved."

Family and friends of Ariel Morgan will gather to remember her and help raise money for her burial expenses. That takes place Wednesday at 6pm at Middleton Park in Goose Creek.
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