The number of murders in the city rose to 177 in 2020, but police solved fewer than half of those cases.
CLEVELAND – Crime is growing across the country and here in northeast Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our two-part series, A Tale of Two Cities, begins Thursday, exploring why crime is increasing in both Cleveland and Akron and what we can do to stop it.
3News investigator Rachel Polansky starts our series in Cleveland.
In the game of chess, every move is important, and while the weaker player only responds to one move, the stronger player looks for options and chooses the best among them.
That way, Myesha got Crowe from the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance Teaching children’s chess encourages them to think deeply about the decisions they make – both in the game and in their life.
“It’s like you’re making this decision that can cause your life to end and when you make that decision it can put your family at risk,” Crowe said. “But if you take this step, you will be safest.”
Your work is more urgent than ever as Cleveland homicide rates are highest in recent history. Police reported 177 murders in 2020from 123 in 2019.
Many attribute the surge to the COVID-19 crisis, which shed jobs, emptied schools and crippled police forces that were already understaffed. The alarming data also shows that more young people are losing their lives, as 10 children under the age of 18 were killed in the city last year.
“I always wanted to be like my big brother,” said Sir Anthony Grady.
His brother, 15-year-old Anthony Hughes Jr., was shot dead on the way home, ironically after leaving a community meeting at King Kennedy’s boys and girls clubs in Cleveland about violence in his neighborhood.
“He went to the meeting and my son never came home,” said Anthony’s mother, Tina Collins.
A rifleman reportedly drove by and opened fire, killing Anthony. Time does not calm a mother’s heart as tearful memories flood Collins’s mind.
“My son always had a smile on his face, he was always happy,” she said. “For someone who does this to my son, that’s the worst thing.”
Anthony’s case remains unsolved, as does dozens of others in the city of Cleveland: While murder detectives solved 72% of the murders in 2019, they resolved only 49% of them in 2020.
A Cleveland police spokesman told 3News Investigates that the number is likely to rise as detectives further investigate the cases from 2020 to 2021. Still, the data does not fit well with grieving families.
“Cleveland, all of you [are] shall look for my son’s murderer, and no one has [any] Answers at all, “complained Collins.
Stop the cycle of violence
While families wait for justice, activists like Richard Starr are im Boys & Girls Clubs Work on practical solutions.
“Most children who take to the streets and start using guns and committing crimes by age 13 are easily affected by negativity or want to get some money,” said Richard Starr, adding we need teenagers alternatives give to make money and get out of poverty. “We pass this idea of college on to everyone, and especially in town I say we need our children to be all for this trading opportunity.”
That is why Starr tells the youngsters that carpenters, plumbers and electricians are always needed.
“You’re getting into a business and have a pipeline for construction, HVAC, and plumbing,” he said. “You can have a career forever.”
Still, this may not be the best option for you because just like the game of chess, you need to make your own moves and follow your own path to reach true heights.
Come on Thursday night at 11pm for What’s Next, A Tale of Two Cities: Akron. Rachel Polansky takes you to Akron to show you the unusual way in which a Reverend tries to curb gun violence.