Enough is enough: community demands end to gang violence - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Enough is enough: community demands end to gang violence

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LINCOLN PARK (CBS 8) - Residents of southeast San Diego took to the streets Thursday, fighting back against a surge in gang violence, after a wave of shootings.

Crime rates throughout the city are down significantly compared to the first quarter of last year in all areas, except when it comes to gang violence in some southeast neighborhoods, especially Lincoln Park, Mountain View and Southcrest.

Community leaders there made it clear they've had enough, staging a massive rally at the corner of Imperial and Euclid avenues Thursday afternoon.

Their goal: to make those streets safer.

"this is so our kids can go to school and go to the parks and play," said Toi Armstrong, a mother. "We're tired of the violence, we're tired of the killings. It has to stop!"

So far this year, southeast San Diego has experienced a surge of gang-related violence.

In April alone, there have been nine people shot or killed here, according to police. At least four of them have been gang-related homicides.

To combat this violence, San Diego police are carrying out curfew sweeps and launching "Operation Safe Streets," increasing its presence in these areas.

"It's not just police officers who are out there working," said Asst. Chief Boyd Long. "It is gang suppression units, it's gang unit detectives that are going out as spotters and looking for gang activity."

While gang activity in southeast San Diego is up, crime overall in the city of San Diego is down.

"Burglaries are down, thefts are down, and violent crimes are down," said Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Compared to the first quarter of last year, violent crimes in San Diego decreased 11.4 percent; property crimes are down 13.8 percent; and reports of domestic violence have dropped 12 percent.

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