Monica Cannon-Grant, CEO & Founder of Violence in Boston, INC (Credit: Violence in Boston/Facebook)
BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) -- There’s a call to arms to end violence in Boston following a string of shootings on Independence Day.
While revelers watched fireworks explode over the hatch shell on the Esplanade --- frightened neighbors heard gunshots ring out in Dorchester.
One of the shootings happened just steps away from where several small children were playing in a bouncy house.
In all, five people were shot, one fatally and on Friday, Mayor Marty Walsh expressed frustration, saying “people need to stop blaming the police and the community and society, and start talking about who shot you,” he said.
However, Roxbury activist Monica Cannon Grant said the Mayor's comments were insensitive and that the City has failed the community.
"The part that infuriates me is he keeps saying that people need to speak up and come forward. We have proof that members of our community black and brown people are speaking up and talking to the police and are cooperating...and they either end up dead, they are getting retribution from the communities that they live in or they are being treated so poorly by his police department that there is reluctantly to follow through," she said.
Cannon-Grant, Founder of Violence in Boston Inc., a community activism group that works to reduce the prevalence of violence and the impact of associated trauma in Boston, says she doesn't think Mayor Walsh is a bad person, but has made bad choices, allocating money to things like gondola research and Frog Pond rather than providing more summer youth jobs and a violence prevention program targeting those who are shooters.
“We consistently watch him allocate funding to things that have nothing to do with violence prevention,” she said. “We've been begging and pleading and having hearings asking for a comprehensive community involved violence action plan but what we receive is him regurgitating programs that just do not work," she said.
Shortly after this story aired on WBZ NewsRadio1030, Cannon-Grant tweeted that she had received a call from Mayor Walsh to arrange a meeting and discussed the issue.
"For all the critiques & frustration I will also publicize the effort. Just received a call from @marty_walsh for us to meet & we also discussed the issues and my thoughts on his comments. He states he cares and is requesting community help," Cannon-Grant tweeted.
In a statement Boston Mayor Marty Walsh stated that everyone had a role in keeping Boston safe.
"Everyone has a role to play in keeping our communities safe, and it is clear that our collective work will not be finished until the number of victims injured and families mourning the loss of a loved one as a result of senseless violance is zero. Our City is one of resilience and strength, and one that values human life, which is why I am asking for us all to join togeter to commit to doing all we can to keep Boston and our residents safe," Walsh tweeted.
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Digital Content Manager Rony Camille contributed to this report.