Now at the age of 24, Lansing breaks the 2020 homicide record in the city
LANSING – There were more murders in Lansing in the first 10 months of 2021 than in all of 2020.
The city had the 23rd and 24th homicides of the year last week, beating the already record-breaking 22 homicides Lansing witnessed in 2020.
Noah Sisung, 18, and a 34-year-old man were shot on Friday and Monday, respectively. Sisung was the eighth teenager to be shot dead that year. The police did not provide any information about the identity of the 34-year-old.
Parishioners and families of murder victims have been demanding action from the city since the murder rate began in 2020 and have been unhappy with the response received.
Anthony Davis Jr., whose 17-year-old son Anthony Davis III. was murdered on September 20, is frustrated by the inaction of the city and the police. He knows police witnesses told who killed his son, but nothing happens.
“They are children. Children kill children,” said Davis Jr. “As for the police, I know they know what is going on. People step on and tell them what is going on.”
Davis Jr. viewed increasing gun violence as a problem before his son was killed, but Anthony’s death made it more urgent. He wants to help but doesn’t know how to do it, he said.
“We lack community centers, we lack resources for these children and people who call themselves leaders, don’t really appear and lead,” said Davis Jr.
Frustrated by lack of action: Parents of unsolved homicide victims express frustration with Lansing Police Department
31 people were killed in homicides in the Lansing area this year.These are their stories.
Help others: As the violent summer rages on, families find community in grief support groups
Police: We need the help of the community
Lansing Police Chief Ellery Sosebee said everyone must stand up and do their part to stop gun violence. It’s easy to point a finger at police or parents or lawmakers when they’re not doing enough, he said, but “we all made the cake.”
“We have to accept that and take our bite out,” he said. “As long as we don’t eat together, nothing will be solved. Everyone has to take responsibility.”
This includes talking to the police and sharing information about crimes, Sosebee said. Many investigations run into dead ends because witnesses fail to speak to them, he said.
“The community and the parents are our eyes and ears,” said Sosebee. “Until we start rebuilding trust, where people will be comfortable when we come forward … let’s just spin our wheels.”
People may be willing to share information about a crime with their friends, neighbors, family members, or the media, or post about a crime on social media, but often their lips are sealed when they get to the police station, he said. You need people who are willing to speak to the police, identify the perpetrator and testify in court.
“The perception we are dealing with is that we have all of this evidence and we are sitting on it,” Sosebee said. “If I had evidence to lock up these guys and girls, I would. The detectives’ success is my success. If we don’t lock people up, we won’t do our job.”
Local residents concerned about safety
Jeremy Garza, a member of Lansing City Council, said the violence in the city is what he has been talking about the most with voters lately.
Some are concerned about their children’s safety and have talked about leaving the city until the violence is under control, he said. Others worry about how quickly first responders would reach them if something happened because they feel the police are understaffed.
Garza wants to see more opportunities for children in Lansing, something that will give them a living wage and a job to be proud of, he said. The craft programs that he used as a teenager no longer exist, and neither are the community centers.
Marlon Beard, the father of 16-year-old murder victim Marshawn Beard, said in September the city needs to invest in more resources to keep children busy and off the streets.
He said the most important thing to think about is what can be done to prevent another parent from experiencing the pain when their child is killed.
More: Ingham County: Lansing Gun Violence Program stalled due to poor response from nonprofits
The Advance Peace anti-weapon violence program was due to start in Lansing in mid-October. But instead of putting the intensive mentoring scholarship into the hands of the nonprofit, The Village Lansing, as a committee had unanimously recommended, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners decided to start the process over and offer the scholarship again. This means that the start of Advance Peace will be delayed until at least 2022.
These are the names of the people killed in Lansing this year:
- Emiliano Hernandez
- Darrell Gaines
- Thomas Collins
- LeeAnn Hawkins
- Melissa Murray
- Darrell Smith
- Adrian Price
- Larry Fields
- Harley Owens
- Kelsey Coon-Lennon
- Corey Dalton
- Kian Miller Jr.
- Timothy Minor
- Marshawn beard
- Damon Johnson
- Jemaris Leek Jr.
- Cashad Pops
- Ardis Davis
- Victor Clayborn
- Alexis Brown
- Michelle Roper
- Anthony Davis III
- Noah Sisung |
- A 34 year old man
Of these murders, 11 are unsolved.
Affected by gun violence? Ingham County Health Department, Village Lansing, and Coat of Many Colors Counseling Services have established confidential trauma-informed support services. Contact Village Lansing at 483-2233, ICHD at 819-2061, or Coat of Many Colors at 798-4944.
Contact reporter Kara Berg at 517-377-1113 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @ karaberg95.