Violence, drugs still a problem

Published 7:17 pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

The smell of marijuana was unmistakable. Bags of cocaine and pot, stacks of one-hundred dollar bills, several high-power weapons and countless rounds of ammunition laid on the table. Just one glance at this scene made me feel like I stepped into one of those high-crime movies where there’s always a large white van that races out of an abandoned parking lot, making away with thousands of dollars in drugs and illegal items. I wasn’t in a movie though — I was in Selma.

This was the scene I stepped into Wednesday as the Selma Police Department unveiled they had arrested two suspects in connection with an April shooting. After searching for those responsible for the shootings near Chanticleer Apartments, authorities located Kendall Dixon and Fabian Lesure on L.L. Anderson. Upon their arrest, police officers recovered countless illegal items such as drugs, guns and ammunition.

As much as I celebrate Selma’s positives and encourage its betterment, I can’t deny our shortcomings. Drugs and violence are a problem in Selma — a huge problem. Knowing there are violent individuals walking our streets who have high-power rifles disturbs me to the core. These individuals are not only posing a threat to the community through gun violence, but they are also most likely selling and distributing drugs — influencing our youth.

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I applaud the Selma Police Department for diligently pursuing these two suspects, and I encourage them to keep searching for violent individuals in our community. I hope the department looks further into this case, discovering whom Dixon and Lesure were potentially selling drugs to. I hope police find out where they obtained their rifles and drug paraphernalia. There are a whole slew of questions remaining in this case, and I hope they are all answered.

There is no doubt in my mind Selma is on the rise. With countless restaurants and boutiques opening their doors, I’m convinced Selma is beginning to create a strong name for itself not only in the Black Belt, but also in the state. However, in order to encourage businesses and retailers to call Selma home, we must first clean up our streets and put an end to the violence and crime that so often goes on.

As much as I disliked seeing so many illegal items Wednesday, it made me glad knowing these weapons and illegal substances were no longer in the hands of dangerous individuals.

As a city, we should continue to pursue violent individuals who pose a threat to our community. Selma has no room for criminal behavior like this — and I’m confident that the Selma Police Department will put a major dent in this problem.