Nonviolence Institute: Providence violence taking toll on our members, police


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been a violent month in the city of Providence with shootings, stabbings and other assaults taking place.

Two of those happens within the past 24 hours: A 26-year-old man was shot Thursday night after leaving a restaurant at the intersection of Chalkstone Avenue and Smith Street, and a man was stabbed just after midnight on Manton Avenue.

Since the beginning of August, there has been a deadly shooting that claimed the life of an innocent bystander on Olney Street, another that killed two men off Broad Street, other non-fatal shootings, a woman getting pulled out of her vehicle and beaten, and a man getting assaulted and carjacked.

On Wednesday, a man set off an hours-long manhunt after police said he fired a rifle at a police cruiser, but the officer inside was not hurt. The suspect was eventually captured.

Compare: Violent crimes in Aug. 2020 vs. Aug. 2021

It’s not just police who respond to these violent attacks; members of the Nonviolence Institute also go to all calls as well.

Executive Director Cedric Huntley says these incidents happening consecutively takes a toll on their members as well as police.

“I think the conversations are happening,” Huntley added. “The urgency of coming up with a solution that deals with some of the immediate concerns around safety for the city of Providence. We have to get together to make sure they are in place and implemented in a way that promotes safety.”

Due to the violence, the City Council held an emergency meeting earlier this week and Providence Police Col. Hugh Clements explained that according to the data, crime is actually down in the city, but there’s a significant uptick in deadly shootings.

Mayor Jorge Elorza has also said Providence Police have been working with Rhode Island State Police to address the increase in violent crime.

Elorza believes some of the violence has been retaliatory in nature, but police have not indicated that any of the incidents were connected.

Timeline of recent violence in Providence

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