Hey there! My name is Najee, and I’m the Community Reporter with Signal Cleveland. We’ve heard a lot this summer about an increase in crime. Instead of interviewing elected officials, I decided to walk through Cleveland neighborhoods and listen to what people think about the issue of violent crime.
I’ve walked and talked with residents in three neighborhoods so far, Lee-Harvard, Ohio City, and Buckeye-Shaker.
In this podcast, Indica Ford, who lives in Lee-Harvard, tells the story of how her neighborhood has been impacted by violent crime and what it means to have strong community support.
Read a transcript of the podcast below
Najee: Hi, i’m Najee Hall, Signal’s Community Reporter. We’ve heard a lot this summer about an increase in violence in Cleveland. Rather than comparing this year’s crime statistics to last year’s or interviewing a bunch of officials, I decided to take a walk through Cleveland neighborhoods and listen to what people think about the issue of violent crime in Cleveland. I spoke with Indica Ford, who has lived in the Lee-Harvard area for three years about her experiences.
Najee: So currently right now, you just generally do not feel safe?
Indica: Oh, absolutely not. You know, violence happens everywhere, but it’s different when it’s so close. I mean, nowadays, is any neighborhood safe? Crime happens everywhere. But, no. No, my neighborhood in particular, doesn’t feel safe, no.
Najee: Do you and your neighbors ever talk about it, discuss anything to try to combat some of this crime or bad behavior and violence?
Indica: I mean, absolutely. Absolutely. We all try to come together as a village and as a community, but there’s only so much we ask the neighbors can do. You know, I understand the city to be so busy with what’s happening, like I say, everywhere. But, you know, it gets to a point where as long as we stick together and as long as we try to watch out for each other, we pretty much, you know, make it.
Najee: So do you feel like recruiting more police officers will ultimately reduce crime?
Indica: Oh, I’m on the fence on that topic because with recent events, you know, police have been contributing to crime spikes and crime increases. But I definitely feel if we have more officers available to, you know, be in multiple places, you know, at once that it could help reduce it.
Najee: Other than police officers. Are there any things that you could think of that you think may help?
Indica: Absolutely! Even certain playgrounds just need to be remodeled. We need to make sure we have safe environments for kids to play in without having to worry about, you know, outside crime, you know, we have to start there. We can come together as a community and host more community events as far as with food or with school supplies. I know school is coming back in. And I just feel like it takes a village.
Najee: So when you say it doesn’t feel safe, why do you feel that?
Indica: Well, we will just use the 4th of July as an example. I guess one of the neighbors were having a 4th of July party and someone pulled up, shooting, I guess at an intended target, but four people were shot. Two died. And it was it was a really a shocker for the whole street, for the whole community.
Najee: So this shooting happened on your street?
Indica: Yes, it happened about four houses down.
Najee: On the 4th of July?
Indica: On the 4th of July, with so many people. One girl, she didn’t make it off the street. Another guy, he made it to the hospital, but he passed the next morning and two other people were injured.
Najee: What do you think that your elected leaders need to do to make you feel safer?
Indica: I try to be empathetic to everyone’s schedule, I know we are all so busy. I just feel like becoming more involved, you know, making more of a presence known even at certain community events, just letting the community know that we are all in this together.
Najee: My name is Najee Hall, and I’m the Community Reporter for Signal Cleveland.