YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As tensions continue in Baltimore, a local pastor says he’s been in touch with colleagues in that area to get a sense of what’s happening.
Reverend Lew Macklin, pastor of Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Youngstown, said the violence was an outgrowth of long-standing problems between police and minorities in the city of Baltimore.
“While some of the individuals are youthful, not all of them are. But I think the common denominator is that they want a sense of justice. The want a sense to be heard and that is something that is not going to be simply dismissed,” Macklin said.
National Guard troops remain on alert after being sent to the “Charm City” to support local and state police in keeping the peace and preventing rioting like what occurred Monday where dozens of stores and businesses were looted and a church hall was set on fire.
The riots followed the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.
Macklin said the Youngstown area has been able to benefit from a number of meetings concerning police-community relations involving both local clergy and police. He says the sessions have helped promote a dialog between both sides to keep potential problems from escalating out of control.