'We Are At A Crisis:' Council Member Speaks Out On Youth Violence

Posted at 11:58 AM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 14:46:43-04

Monday night's budget negotiations got emotional when Council Member Erica Gilmore started talking about poverty and the youth violence crisis in Nashville.

Gilmore was speaking during a Metro Council Budget and Finance Committee meeting when she switched topics from the budget to the rising crime rates among young Nashvillians.

"We're seeing so much violence in the neighborhoods amongst the youth that I'm really concerned. The other day I was walking down Pearl Street and there were about 60 kids in the middle of the street. They were throwing bricks at one another. And I tried to get them to stop, and I could not get them to stop" Gilmore said, her voice cracking slightly. "I mean we are really at a crisis."

"And people do not recognize there are kids out there that are in such poverty that we are like a third world country. I feel like I was in Beirut."

"Things are not like they used to be. Used to be when you saw an adult and they said 'stop' there was a level of respect. But our community is changing."

Youth violence has been a disturbing trend in Music City. For more coverage, see our #Enough section.

The full Metro Council will take up budget negotiations Tuesday night as the city deals with a multi-million dollar shortfall amid a time of unprecedented growth for the city.