RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Mayor Levar Stoney and the Richmond Police Department held a press conference Friday to update the community on the violent crime happening in the city.
Mayor Stoney and Chief Durham spoke about the current status of homicide investigations and violent crimes that have taken place so far this year.
So far, Richmond has seen 9 homicides and 409 assaults, compared to this time last year when 9 homicides and 393 assaults were reported.
“What we have seen with many of the homicides occurring in our city … that the majority are not random acts of violence,” Durham said. “There is some association or affiliation with the suspect and the victims especially as it relates to homicides and non-fatal shootings in the city.”
He cited that 2 of the 9 murders that have occurred so far in 2017 related to drug cases and a third that was cleared stemmed from an argument between two acquaintances.
“Let me make it clear that any violent crime in the city is too many,” Durham said.
Durham went further, describing the difficulty of solving violent crimes when the victims choose not to cooperate with police.
Toni Jacobs is a Richmond mother who personally knows the importance of helping the police with crime investigations. Her 21-year old daughter has been missing for months and her son is one of the nine murder victims of 2017.
“At the same time you want justice, but you don’t want to do what you have to do to get justice,” she told 8News Reporter Jonathan Costen. “To me, if I see somebody’s life taken, I feel obligated to say something because that could be my child, that could be my brother or sister or somebody.”