Norfolk community activist: ‘2022 has to be a more productive year’

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk police were on the scene Tuesday night after two men were shot and injured in a neighborhood. One victim was found in his car on Monticello Avenue; the second victim showed up at a nearby hospital for treatment. Police say both men were shot on Hunter Street and they are expected to survive.

Bilal Muhammad, the founder of Stop the Violence Team, followed the headlines in this double shooting case with concern that next year could become another year of senseless violence in Norfolk.

Bilal Muhammad with Captain Bridges
(WAVY photo/Regin Mobley)

“2022 has to be a more productive year… But look what’s going on… We still don’t show any type of value or interest in the future of our community,” said Muhammad.

The Norfolk native has worked the streets of his hometown since the Vietnam War to battle drugs, crime, and poverty.

Muhammad was on the scene in July when four children were injured in a shooting on Madison Avenue. Days later he responded when two 15-year-olds, in separate crimes, were shot and killed. And he was on the scene in November when Norfolk recorded a mass killing when five people were shot; three of the victims died.

While year-end statistics are pending, city records show during the second half of the year, an estimated 30 people were killed and there were 511 crimes involving firearms. The veteran activist is concerned the start of the new year could bring even more death.

“Now what are we [armed criminals] gonna do? We are going to walk around in the neighborhood at twelve o’clock at night.. sound of the guns innocent people will probably get shot,” said Muhammad.

As Norfolk is spending millions on brick-and-mortar improvements, Muhammad is calling on Gov.-Elect Glenn Youngkin to start investing in families.

Glenn Youngkin
Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin speaks during a campaign stop at T4Tactics, a firearm training facility, in Campbell County, Va., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Kendall Warner/The News & Advance via AP)

“We need to sit down with our new governor and walk with him in our community to take a look. And let’s talk about what strategy we can use and bring in the resources in those communities so that we can reduce the violence taking place,” Muhammad said.

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