Neighbors hand out hotspot cards following string of drive-by shootings

LMPD joins Shawnee neighbors to march for change in violent crime

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - After a string of shootings in the Shawnee neighborhood, some who live there are saying they've had enough.

Now, they’re teaming up with LMPD to do something about it.

A group set out Monday to convince people to report crimes as one way of Taking Back Their Streets.

Before heading out, the group said a prayer together.

“We’re so thankful for this time that you’ve gathered us together,” Emery Lee, a pastor at No Limits Christian Church, said.

In the Shawnee neighborhood Monday, it was leading the group into battle.​

“We have to be willing to take back these streets,” Lee said.

Streets in the daylight are lined with welcoming green trees, but, when night falls, neighbors said gunshots have been ringing out.​

“Pow, pow, pow,” Lerenza Jones, a man who lives on South 38th Street, described. “Then we jump and run to the door. We didn’t know where it’s coming from. Then, after a while, here come police, lights and everything.”​

Jones was just feet away from a drive-by shooting on his block two weeks ago. ​

It’s also why he was handing out hotspot cards Monday.​

“Maybe, it’ll cut down on some of the crime that we do have,” Jones said.

As the sun began to set, ​others were fighting back, too. ​

“I’ve always learned, there’s a time to pray and a time to fight,” Lee said. “The time to fight is when those things are trying to come against your destiny, your love of community. We’re trying to keep our babies safe.” ​

To do that the group isn’t using violence itself, but the power of a small piece of paper.​

“Donna, do you have any more cards,” Lee yelled out, as the group went door-to-door.

Organizer, Metro councilwoman Donna Purvis, said hotspot cards will let people in the area report suspected criminal activity anonymously.

People can fill them out when they suspect a crime and mail them to LMPD or drop them off at local churches.

“In our culture, we have this ‘snitch’ thing going on,” Purvis said. “People fear that if they tell about things that shouldn’t be going on, they fear that they will be retaliated against, if not hurt or lose their life.” ​

It’s a fear some in the neighborhood said they’re sick of living with. ​

“It’s madness,” neighbor Dan Black said. ​"It’s the community’s job to help everyone out, stay focused, and keep everybody clean out here. So, I’m proud to see them walk through here."​

Purvis said she plans to organize similar events in the future.

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