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B-PEP Decries Black-on-Black Shootings

The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) gathered together with other organizations and community leaders this week to decry the recent spate of shootings in the African American community in and around Pittsburgh.

"We as a people are killing ourselves," said B-PEP Chairman Tim Stevens. "We're killing ourselves, we're killing our families, we're killing our youth, we are indeed killing our future."

In the last week the region has seen at least five black-on-black shootings. In the past when there has been a short-term spike in shootings, they could be traced to escalating gang retaliations. Unlike those spikes, these incidents do not seem to be related.

Stevens said it is time to look inward.

"We adults must look at the lessons we teach our children by the words we say and the acts we do," said Stevens. "Our children and our young adults must take the responsibility of finding ways of solving and resolving conflict in a non-physical manner. We must create a cultural of mutual respect and a culture of peace."

B-PEP is creating a book of more than 40 tactics that can be employed by community groups to help end street violence. Stevens said the ideas work and they must be followed. That book will soon be widely distributed among African American-led groups.