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Durham chief: Latino parents can help curb violence

Posted January 11, 2013

— Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez put some of his frustrations in print Friday, blasting fellow members of the Latino community for inaction that he says allows violence and gangs to exist in his city.

In a letter printed in the Durham Herald-Sun and local Spanish-language publications, Lopez, who was born in the United States of Puerto Rican parents, begged Latino parents for cooperation in identifying criminals and solving crimes.

"I ask that you not only help me but, help yourselves to stop these tragedies. How? By identifying those who are in these gangs, where the firearms are stored and disarming your own children which are important in order to stop the violence," he wrote.

Durham police chief's letter to Latino community

On Friday night, Lopez granted that his message may be hard to hear, but said he waited for others to step up, only to be disappointed.

"It is the Latino community hurting the Latino community and the only ones who can stop that are the Latino community," he said.

Durham Police  Durham police chief asks parents for help

Katushka Olave, who works with the Latino community at the Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, found Lopez's letter hurtful and disappointing. She agrees that issues need to be addressed but felt the letter called out one specific group.

"We know there are probably some parents that need a little more guidance, but this is a responsibility of the whole community," she said.

Lopez said he addressed his letter to the Latino community because he is Latino. He said he hopes leaders in other ethnic groups will also speak out against crime.

18 Comments

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  • RustyDawg Jan 18, 11:27 a.m.

    We can only blame ourselves for their criminal state of mind. We are the enablers of their culture here in America. "Come on over and live illegally. We'll grant you amnesty and give you whatever you want." That is exactly how we've approached this community instead of locking down the border and acting like they have done something wrong. We reap what we sow.

  • oleguy Jan 14, 7:14 p.m.

    You go Chief,, and Barbour get a life,away from a buffet

  • alphabaker Jan 14, 6:26 p.m.

    after all this is a city that has it arms opened for illegals, you get what you ask for !

  • lb27608 Jan 14, 4:31 p.m.

    "Well if he isnt the best Tio Thomas!! It is rediculous to call out one race for the issues in Durham. Durham has had the reputation for being the hub of criminal activity since I can remember. What are there no black, asian or white gang or criminal activity in Durham only Latino?" -NiceNSmooth

    Did you read the story, particularly the last paragraph? He focused on the Latino community because he is Latino himself, and never suggested that the problem is limited to Latinos only.

  • SingleLensReflex.SLR Jan 14, 1:12 p.m.

    Chief Lopez's message is timely and well placed. How many white children were kept from doing wrong by strong parenting? How many black children ? Its an American tradition to strengthen the responsiblities of the family unit and this message is important for the relatively new and arriving latino families to hear. This is an American tradition we hope translates.

  • NiceNSmooth Jan 14, 11:06 a.m.

    Well if he isnt the best Tio Thomas!! It is rediculous to call out one race for the issues in Durham. Durham has had the reputation for being the hub of criminal activity since I can remember. What are there no black, asian or white gang or criminal activity in Durham only Latino?

  • Rebelyell55 Jan 14, 11:02 a.m.

    The sad part is that it'll most likely fall on death ears.

  • southerntalent Jan 14, 10:57 a.m.

    Gonna give credit where it's due, and Chief Lopez gets all the credit in the world for calling out the Latino community. This is something that i've been waiting for Barber to do within the black community, but he hasn't even denounced the violent and sensless killing of the innocent white victim by the hands of the Wilmington 3. Only when the Latino and Black communities admit first that they even have a problem...will they begin to address the problem. Again, Chief Lopez stepped up to the plate and deserves credit for it.

    100% correct,untill you talk about the problem,the problem will be swept under the rug

  • Terkel Jan 14, 10:50 a.m.

    To be "real" and truthful, the Chief is talking about latinos, no one else. For once, leave out the part where whites get blamed.

  • Terkel Jan 14, 10:44 a.m.

    Awwwwwwww. Was the letter "hurtful" to latinos? GOOD!

    "We know there are probably some parents that need a little more guidance, but this is a responsibility of the whole community," she said (volunteer), in an attempt to blame everyone but the parents and kids.

    Be sure of one thing: when community organizers say "the responsibility of the community", they mean "we want taxpayer money."

    "Probably"? "a little"? "the responsibility of the whole community"? This simpering person is the very face of the problem.

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