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Don't shoot: one man, a street fellowship, and the end of violence in inner-city America
  1. David Hemenway
  1. Correspondence to Professor David Hemenway, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; hemenway{at}hsph.harvard.edu

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David Kennedy. Published by Bloomsbury, New York, 2011, pp 305, Introduction, 10 chapters, References, hardcover. USD 28. ISBN 978-1608192649.

Two especially pernicious crimes are street shootings and street drug peddling, for these can destroy communities. Many of the most dangerous places in USA, often poor Black inner-city neighbourhoods, have been hit hard by gang killings and overt drug markets. Residents live in fear and are afraid to venture out.

Is there a law enforcement strategy that could drastically reduce or even eliminate the gang shootings and the overt drug markets without requiring any new laws, authority or funding?

Indeed there is. This strategy has been used successfully in many localities, including Rockford IL, Hempstead Village NY, Nashville TN, Stockton CA, New Haven CT, Portland OR, Minneapolis MN, Cincinnati OH, Boston MA and High Point NC. The strategy has a large and immediate impact. The logic makes sense, but the strategy requires cooperation from many parties, and can fall apart over time unless it is institutionalised, unless there is someone whose responsibility it is to ensure that it stays together.

It seems like a miracle. While it will not immediately end racism or poverty, or give people jobs, or even reduce drug use …

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