Council calls for answers in Jackson death

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SELMA — As police officers continue to search for suspects in the shooting death of Joshua Jackson, members of the Selma City Council want to help search for answers.

Several council members have proposed community meetings and prayer vigils to seek answers to ending the violence that has claimed the 16-year-old.

A gunman shot Jackson down about a week ago as the Selma High School sophomore walked down Marie Foster Street toward St. John’s Avenue in the early evening. A friend who accompanied Jackson said four youths approached the two, and one drew a gun.

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Council members Corey Bowie of Ward 8 and the Rev. B. L. Tucker of Ward 6 said they would hold a prayer vigil Saturday at noon on Marie Foster to pray for Jackson’s family.

Bowie holds out hope police chief William Riley III would set up a precinct in Ward 8 to increase visibility and cut down on violence.

Tucker encouraged people to pray for the youth and his family. “We must do something,” the council member said. “People who have guns need to turn them in. Police need to get out of the cars where the people are gathered on the corners and talk to them.”

Council member Angela Benjamin of Ward 4 wants to hold a series of community meetings soon in neighborhoods to collaborate with parents, teachers, ministers and others to determine what action to take to prevent more tragedy, such as the killing of Jackson.

It’s not just one neighborhood, said Council member Sam Randolph, but a series. Randolph has issues with a street in his Ward 5, where people use drugs openly, disrupt the peace with loud music and engage in other unlawful behavior.

Randolph called for more visibility of police. “We need to do something about taking back our neighborhoods in the whole city,” he said.