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Durham Residents Launch Grassroots Campaign Against Violent Crime

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DURHAM, N.C. — Mona Dunn lives on the front lines of violence near Angier Avenue and Driver Street in Durham.

"It's sort of like living in Iraq, I reckon," said Dunn, whose house was struck with a bullet from a shooting two weeks ago. "(You) don't know if you are going to get shot sitting on your front porch."

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 40 reports of violent crime in the area. The latest victims: a 17-year-old killed last week and a 22-year-old found dead Sunday.

Crime scenes have become all too familiar for people in the Durham community.

That is why local business owner Samuel Jenkins organized a community meeting inside his barbershop to pray for change and call for action.

"If I can change someone's look, then I can change someone's mind, then I can change a community," Jenkins said.

The meeting was standing-room only with Mayor Bill Bell and Durham police Capt. D.C. Allen on hand. The group voted to fight for more police presence on their streets.

"We will address these things with the chief and see whether or not we can get more personnel in this community to address those problems," Allen said.

Members said they are committed to making the community a safe place to live and work and said they know it will take more than just having an officer on every corner.

For now, the group has agreed to work together to take back its neighborhood, before it gets any worse.

"You just got to pray that you are going to be safe and everything," Dunn said.


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