St. Petersburg African-American neighborhoods on edge after police shooting

7:04 PM, Feb 22, 2011   |    comments
Officer David Crawford
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St. Petersburg, Florida - Another police shooting has African-American communities on edge as police try to locate the man who shot Officer David Crawford.

"We just had two police officers shot last month and now we have another shot today. This is terrible," said Veronica Wise, a St. Petersburg resident.

Residents in African-American neighborhoods in St. Petersburg are concerned about the latest shooting of a police officer.

Reverend James Warren, who owns property in south St. Petersburg, is urging religious leaders to help find the man who fatally wounded the officer.

"I'm urging your preachers, your leaders, to not wait around for someone else to die. If you know they're out there selling drugs and shooting people, turn them in before someone else gets hurt," Warren said.

People who live in predominantly African-American communities say that when a police shooting occurs in their neighborhoods, often the tension level with police is increased but, they say, they want the same thing as law enforcement and that's for a killer to be brought to justice.

"It doesn't matter what neighborhood it occurs in, a black neighborhood, a white neighborhood or Latino neighborhood. If there's someone on the loose that's dangerous and harmful, we want that individual apprehended," said Rickey Houston, the pastor of Bethel Metropolitan Church in St. Petersburg.

City officials are hoping reward money being offered will lead to the capture of the killer.

"There's a $100,000 reward out for this individual. Basically, he's a walking lotto ticket if he does get away," said St. Petersburg City Councilman Wingate Newton.

State Representative Darryl Rouson released a statement urging members of the community to come together and help find the suspect in this horrible tragedy.

Full coverage:

Melvin Beal, 10 News

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