CLEVELAND — On Monday, city leaders, including the Cleveland Chief of Police and Mayor Frank Jackson, addressed the violence happening across Cleveland, including a drive-by shooting that killed a 6-year-old girl while she was inside her home.
Council members called on the city's young people to abandoned the code of silence known as the "no snitch" rule to help authorities find the people responsible for a string of violent crimes.
Mayor Frank Jackson mentioned that while data shows "crime is trending down in the city," the statistics don't matter if you're a victim of crime.
"Statistics and data mean nothing at that point," Jackson said.
He added, "Crime is just a symptom, it's not a cause," pointing to the social and economic inequities as being the root of crime.
Chief Calvin Williams said there are no updates on any of the recent homicides, but said there were "lots of leads" and encouraged the public to keep sending information to police and Crime Stoppers.
Council president Kevin Kelley echoed the importance of "if you know something, say something."
"This issue is not going to be solved at 601 Lakeside (City Hall). It's not going to be solved by the mayor and it's not going to be solved by police," Kelley said.
Last to speak was Anthony Hairston of Ward 10, who urged the public to not be quiet on the crimes happening in our communities.
"Speak up. You are just as bad as the folks committing these crimes if you stay silent and stay quiet. We need you to come forward," Hairston said.
"These senseless and egregious crimes being committed on our babies and on our women and seniors will not be tolerated," he said.
The public can call the Cleveland Division of Police Homicide Unit at 216-623-5464 or call Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463.
The latest shooting in Cleveland claimed the life of 6-year-old Lyric Lawson who was shot in the head while sleeping inside her home on East 171st Street.
In September, four people were found dead with gunshot wounds inside an abandoned home. More on this story here.
Today the mayor insisted the city's efforts go beyond a news conference when children are killed in the city.
"We work on this everyday now," said Jackson. "This is not just a press conference for us, this what we do everyday, and we take it seriously."
Jackson said that includes efforts to intervene and disrupt crimes before they're committed. The key, he believes, is making the community feel empowered and protected to make positive changes.
"What we have to do is create a situation where people doing right own the environment," said Jackson, "not the people doing wrong and right now, that's not the case."