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Domestic CP - December 2005
The Hamilton Spectator, Ontario, 20 December 2005
Police backpedal on gang-crime issue
Chief says gun violence crosses all ethnic, racial groups
By Sharon Boase
Hamilton police have backed away from their weekend statement that young black men appear responsible for many of the city's gang-related gun crimes.
Deputy Chief Tom Marlor Sunday appealed to leaders of the city's African-Canadian community for help after a shootout at an east-end bar left three people wounded. He said that most of the people involved in a recent spate of shootings have been young black men.
Police Chief Brian Mullan contradicted his deputy yesterday, saying gang members are as diverse as the United Nations and Hamilton police will reach out to all ethnic and racial communities to help them solve the problem of gun violence.
The root cause of gangs and gang activity can hardly be pinned on black youth, said Lloyd Turner, program co-ordinator for the Afro-Canadian Caribbean Association of Hamilton.
Part of the problem is a lack of discipline at home, Turner added, something black parents have complained to him about in the past. He said child protection authorities are too quick to remove children from a home where they face corporal punishment.
"The government should stay out of peoples' [sic] homes, unless there is direct abuse," he said. "But most of what they call abuse has nothing to do with abuse but has to do with discipline.
"These days, the child is conditioned to call the law on the parents if the parents even talk to them hard."
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