Activist calls for change in Mount Vernon on heels of latest shooting of 20-year-old woman

The Mount Vernon community is taking a closer look at violence and how it has affected the city on the heels of the latest shooting of a 20-year-old woman over the weekend.

News 12 Staff

Sep 29, 2021, 5:27 PM

Updated 989 days ago

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The Mount Vernon community is taking a closer look at violence and how it has affected the city on the heels of the latest shooting of a 20-year-old woman over the weekend.
Aliyah Waiters was shot in the head outside 237 S. Third Ave. She was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx and is currently on life support. The Mount Vernon mayor’s office is clarifying an earlier statement that she had died.
Mount Vernon activist Jesse Van Lew suggests the city try tactics like setting a curfew and using ShotSpotter gunshot detection sensors.
He also suggests implementing stop-and-frisk, a controversial policy that allows police to question anyone who looks suspicious, which some say causes racial profiling.
"The cops need to show a little more force here and let the guys know, they're going to make them feel uncomfortable, because right now they're comfortable, they're walking around with guns," says Van Lew.
Van Lew counts six fatal shootings already in Mount Vernon this year. There were seven in total last year.
"Mount Vernon is number one in crime in Westchester County. We have the highest-paid taxes in Westchester County," says Van Lew.
Van Lew is calling for their taxpayer dollars to be better spent toward curbing gun violence.
In response, the Mount Vernon Mayor's Office says most of their taxes go toward schools and argues the city doesn't have the highest crime rate in the county.
"Last year in 2020, we closed over 80 percent of our homicide cases, and we are on track to do the same thing this year," says Mount Vernon Mayor Shawn Patterson-Howard.
Van Lew keeps a list of all the cases that weren't closed, the unsolved homicides left in Mount Vernon.
Police have not yet determined the cause of the shooting and they are still searching for suspects.



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