Taking Back Our Streets: Put Down The Guns, Pick Up The Bible

Taking Back Our Streets: Put Down The Guns, Pick Up The Bible
(Semmie Buffin)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The McCauleys live in one of Shreveport’s toughest neighborhoods.

And they say it is time to do something about the violence.

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However, after writing city leaders for help with a plan to end the violence, they say their concerns fell on deaf ears.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a family living in Cedar Grove.

When we asked Wilda McCauley why she contacted KSLA News 12 via email, she told us it was because she had written city leaders within the Police Department, city and a state representative with no avail.

McCauley said she was disappointed not to hear back on ways to push a possible solution and make a difference in the neighborhood.

First, she said, she would like to see more patrols in her neighborhood. McCauley wants police to roll through more, and she thinks that will become a deterrent to all of the recent violence.

McCauley said she and her husband, Robert, have turned to prayer. They pray every three hours, every day.

Sometimes those prayers are interrupted by gunfire, but the McCauleys don’t stop.

“If they are shooting and we are studying, we don’t run out the way because my life is in God’s hands,” she said.

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Armed with a bullhorn, Robert McCauley says he ministers to the neighborhood.

When asked if he thinks his daily messages are working, he said, “I think it is reaching the people. They can hear me. They say he is not afraid to go out and speak.”

But the McCauleys said there are some in the neighborhood afraid to even walk down the street, to their mailbox or around the corner to the store.

Wilda McCauley recalls an afternoon of witnessing a woman shoot a gun at her boyfriend outside with children just feet away.

The McCauleys admit, the younger generation is harder to reach.

Robert McCauley reflects on a conversation with a preteen.

“I said, ‘Why you out this time o’ night?’ He say ain’t nobody going to bother me, and I said why not? He say right here and right here. He was riding a bike, and he had a gun on each side. He is 12 years old. He said he is not afraid.”

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The McCauley said they aren’t going anywhere. Instead, they are praying away the crime with a little prayer oil.

They’ve admitted to using the oil before around the perimeter of neighbor’s home they suspect was selling drugs out of one of the homes.

The McCauleys jokingly said with a little bit of prayer and prayer oil and the neighbor was gone within six months.

We put in a call to state Rep. Barbara Norton. She called us back to say she has spoken to Wilda McCauley and is listening to her concerns and possible solutions to take back our streets.

Shreveport Police Chief Alan Crump’s office said they have no record of any letter to them from the McCauleys. They say that they are holding community meetings regarding crime in every neighborhood and that they would love for the McCauleys to attend and share their concerns during those meetings.

Lastly, a spokesperson for Mayor Ollie Tyler said they received a letter from the McCauleys regarding the donation for a privately owned building for the homeless.

They said they don’t have any request regarding a “Put Down The Guns, Pick Up The Bible” program.

But they said they would be happy to work with her or any other citizens group to decrease violence in local neighborhoods. .

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