Birmingham Councilor Suggests Calling in the Guard If Nothing Else Curbs Crime in the City

 ========= Old Image Removed =========Array
(
    [_wp_attached_file] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2019/06/Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347.jpg
        )

    [_wp_attachment_metadata] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:5:{s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:432;s:4:"file";s:54:"2019/06/Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347.jpg";s:5:"sizes";a:10:{s:6:"medium";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:54:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347-336x189.jpg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:189;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:54:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347-140x140.jpg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:52:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347-80x80.jpg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:54:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347-600x338.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:338;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:54:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347-600x432.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:432;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:54:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347-553x311.jpg";s:5:"width";i:553;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:54:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347-470x265.jpg";s:5:"width";i:470;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:28:"ab-block-post-grid-landscape";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:54:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347-600x400.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:400;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:25:"ab-block-post-grid-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:54:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347-600x432.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:432;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:54:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-e1561055089347-125x125.jpg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:12:{s:8:"aperture";s:1:"0";s:6:"credit";s:0:"";s:6:"camera";s:0:"";s:7:"caption";s:0:"";s:17:"created_timestamp";s:1:"0";s:9:"copyright";s:0:"";s:12:"focal_length";s:1:"0";s:3:"iso";s:1:"0";s:13:"shutter_speed";s:1:"0";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:11:"orientation";s:1:"0";s:8:"keywords";a:0:{}}}
        )

    [_media_credit] => Array
        (
            [0] => Sam Prickett
        )

    [_navis_media_credit_org] => Array
        (
            [0] =>  BirminghamWatch
        )

    [_navis_media_can_distribute] => Array
        (
            [0] => 
        )

    [_wp_attachment_backup_sizes] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:9:{s:9:"full-orig";a:3:{s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:512;s:4:"file";s:31:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512.jpg";}s:14:"thumbnail-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:39:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-140x140.jpg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:11:"medium-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:39:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-336x224.jpg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:224;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"wbhm-icon-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:37:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-80x80.jpg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:39:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-600x338.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:338;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:25:"wbhm-featured-square-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:39:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-300x300.jpg";s:5:"width";i:300;s:6:"height";i:300;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:23:"wbhm-featured-home-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:39:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-467x311.jpg";s:5:"width";i:467;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:27:"wbhm-featured-carousel-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:39:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-398x265.jpg";s:5:"width";i:398;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:19:"post-thumbnail-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:39:"Smitherman-_-Hoyt-1-768x512-125x125.jpg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}
        )

    [_imagify_optimization_level] => Array
        (
            [0] => 0
        )

    [_imagify_status] => Array
        (
            [0] => error
        )

    [_imagify_data] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:2:{s:5:"sizes";a:1:{s:4:"full";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:37:"The backup directory is not writable.";}}s:5:"stats";a:3:{s:13:"original_size";i:0;s:14:"optimized_size";i:0;s:7:"percent";i:0;}}
        )

)
1565937583 
1561037401
bw-logo-color-2

By Sam Prickett

Birmingham City Councilor Steven Hoyt called on Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin Tuesday to change his strategies for fighting crime in Birmingham, even if it means calling in the National Guard.

Woodfin quickly shot down that idea, saying, “We will not be calling the National Guard,” and emphasized that most of the city’s homicides “are not random.”

“These are interactions between people who know each other,” he said.

Hoyt’s comments were sparked after a Monday night shooting in the city’s Belview Heights neighborhood left one man dead. The victim, 27-year-old Michael James Weeks, was the 60th reported homicide in Birmingham this year; seven of those homicides have since been ruled as justified.

That’s a marked increase from last year, which by June 18 had logged 50 homicides.

“I just need a new plan,” Hoyt said to Woodfin during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, arguing that residents are being “terrorized” by violent crime.

“My mother told me if you don’t know how to do something, ask somebody. Get some help … We did a couple of (crime) studies; it ain’t working. (We) brought a new chief in here; it ain’t working. So I’m just trying to figure it out … Maybe we need to call the National Guard in here to help us control this city.”

Woodfin immediately turned back that idea and began reassuring residents of Belview Heights that “your neighborhood is very safe.”

Birmingham Police Chief Patrick D. Smith in a presentation to the council last month also emphasized that most of the homicides in the city are not random acts of violence.

“A lot of people say, … ‘Are we really safe out there?’ My answer to you is, ‘Yes, absolutely, without a doubt,’” Smith said then.

“I wish we had the power to put a police officer on every corner, but I don’t think that’s what residents want,” Woodfin said Tuesday. “I think the word the councilor used was ‘terror.’ There is no terror in Belview Heights, based on the definition that I know of terrorism. These are things that are happening that are very personal in nature.”

Woodfin added that Birmingham police had taken “well over 500 guns off the street” since the beginning of 2019. “The truth is, I wish we could take every one,” he said. “I think (residents) have appreciated our police presence increase … and I think they appreciate us taking more guns off the street, which we have.”

Hoyt said that Woodfin’s response was not “satisfactory.”

“Terror is something that’s real,” he said. “I know when my wife is scared to come home, she’ll call me so I can meet her there to be sure she gets in the house safe. But you can’t say that’s not terror … It is terror.”

Woodfin did not respond further.

 

Local health officials plan to increase monkeypox vaccinations

Health officials will soon begin offering intradermal vaccinations, reaching more people with less vaccine.

Combating gun violence remains a top focus of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As violent crime in Birmingham and the surrounding area continues to increase, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Prim Escalona, uses a variety of tools and strategies to get firearms and bad guys off the street.

Some 3rd graders in local schools could be held back under new law 

This is the first school year that third graders who do not read at grade level by the end of the school year must be held back in that grade, rather than passed on to fourth grade. The Alabama Literacy Act was passed several years ago, but its implementation was delayed because of the pandemic.

How one Birmingham custodian preps for the first day of school

When the kids are away, the custodial and maintenance staff in schools work all summer long. One custodian told WBHM about what it takes to keep the kids happy and healthy as they trade sunshine for fluorescent lights.

Dollar store workers are organizing for a better workplace. Just don’t call it a union.

Fired up by a labor movement that’s seen big union victories recently, dollar store workers are organizing in their own way to improve work conditions.

Bill Clark has a knack for making comebacks. Will he make one more? 

Bill Clark has had to overcome some serious hurdles during his career at UAB, as well as in his personal life. He not only resurrected a football program that had been neglected—and then out-right killed—he’s also been fighting through what he’s called a serious injury since childhood.

More BirminghamWatch Coverage