Activists call for justice

By Ed Brock

Clayton County's sheriff, a local minister, local activists and a group from Cobb County are calling for unity in the wake of recent killings related to gang violence.

Gerald Rose, president and CEO of Cobb County-based New Order, organized a press conference Friday on the front steps of the Harold R. Banke Justice Center on Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro. Rose, along with Sheriff Victor Hill, Riverdale activist Sharon Owens and the Rev. Mike Glanton were there to call for the person or people responsible for the April 24 shooting death of 18-year-old Larry Bishop Jr. to turn themselves in.

Rose also was there to announce a march or rally he hopes to hold at the justice center on May 14.

"On May 14 we plan to flood the streets," Rose said.

Bishop was shot at a party at a home in Whaley Lake subdivision near Mundy's Mill High School and police say his death may have been related to a gang fight at the school a day before. But Rose said the May 14 event, scheduled to start at 3 p.m., will be a memorial for all the young victims of crime in the county. They include 14-year-old Forest Park High School freshman Krystal Williams who was shot to death at another party the night before Bishop's death and 2-year-old Xavier Miranda who was caught in the crossfire between his father and an armed robber in a February home invasion.

"If we continue to do this we are going to lose our future," Rose said of the shootings.

Rose said he's worried about what's going on in Clayton County even though he lives in Cobb County.

"It doesn't matter because when stuff affects young people it affects me," Rose said.

Hill said he would be very, very supportive of Rose's efforts. He also said that his investigators are working with Clayton County Police Department detectives to solve the Bishop case. Rose said he would be enlisting the aid of more churches in the black community, such as New Life Christian Church where Glanton is a minister, to help in the cause.

Owens joined the others in calling for the community to come together to face the problem of gang violence.

"No student should have to tolerate being intimidated by anyone because of gangs," Owens said.