Last week, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones told ABC 8News a public meeting would be held this week with Chief of Police Ray Tarasovic to discuss ways to fight violent crime.
“We’re going to come out with a combined statement, combined effort to make some challenges and changes,” Jones said.
As of Friday, no such meeting has taken place, and Anchor/Investigative Reporter Kerri O’Brien has been pressing for answers.
Late in the afternoon on May 30, O’Brien was told the meeting will happen next week, though no specific date or time has been set. Meanwhile, many ABC 8News viewers have continued to ask, “Where is the mayor?”
Lately, a wave of violent crimes has plagued the City of Richmond: a jewelry store clerk was shot and killed during an armed robbery, a young boy was killed defending his sister and a child was shot on Mother’s Day.
Chief Tarasovic has spoken out on the violence, calling it “intolerable.” Still, the public has been crying out for Mayor Jones to take action and show himself.
“You need to be in the community; you need to be walking it,” said Richmond resident William Meneifeild.
Family and friends of Martin “Marty” Cobb, the 8-year-old who was brutally murdered earlier this month for trying to defend his older sister say they’re disappointed that Mayor Jones failed to show up at Marty’s vigil and funeral.
“He didn’t show up, because I was at both of them,” Meneifield said. “You have to get involved with the community, the people, the churches, the schools, everybody. Do he do that? No.”
Richmond City Councilwoman Reva Trammell says she’s hearing “Where’s the mayor?” from her constituents, too.
“Where’s the mayor? Where’s the mayor when the two young boys were shot last week?” she said.
Though Mayor Jones did make an appearance Monday night to defend his Shockoe Bottom Baseball Ordinance, he backed out of plans to finally present the proposal on Thursday.
“I know he’s supposed to be Mr. Mayor of Richmond, Virginia—where is he?” Trammell said. “The only thing he’s stuck on right now is this ballpark.”
As for Mayor Jones’ public meeting with Chief Tarasovic, Trammell says that’s news to her.
“I am chairperson of public safety. How come I didn’t know nothing about a meeting?” she said.
“I hope he see this and I hope he hears it,” Meneifield said. “Do something, Mayor, because right now, you are nothing.”
Stay with ABC 8News on air, online and on the go for updates on Mayor Jones’ public meeting. Meanwhile, Councilwoman Trammell is holding her own meeting with Chief Tarasovic. Her Sister to Sister Taking Time to Fight the Crime meeting is set for Thursday, June 3 at 6 p.m. in the Social Services building at Southside Plaza.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond