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Prince George's County residents express frustration in community meeting addressing crime increase

"I think we come up with the best solutions sometimes when we have this kind of tension present," County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said.

SUITLAND, Md. — A meeting to address the increase in violent crimes in Prince George's County was interrupted when residents spoke up to express their frustration. 

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and other government officials including the police chief held a community meeting to have a conversation about the crime and programs in the works to help curb the problem. 

Residents interested in attending had to register. 

Closer to the end, tensions at the meeting escalated when a few residents spoke up as the panel of officials was in the middle of talking. 

"I don't want to hear this dog-and-pony show!" one resident yelled.

Among the people who spoke up was 32-year-old Antonio Mingo, a father of two and gun violence survivor. He said his outburst was over the lack of changes and voices needed from the community.

"We're frustrated about not getting the help that is being said is the help," Mingo told WUSA9. "I feel like more could be done."

Darlene Rainey, whose son was killed years ago, also spoke up. 

"The system is broken," Rainey said. "Some things work and some things don't. Fix what is broken don't sit up here and shoot us a bunch of crap."

Violent crimes in the county have grown tremendously over the years, specifically youth carjackings.

New data from the Prince George's County Police Department showed there was a 35% increase in murders between 2021 and 2020. 

The number of robberies has seen a 30% jump so far this year compared to the same time frame the year before. That could be said about carjackings when the increase went up by 46%. 

Just last week, police released surveillance video of a Capitol Heights woman attacked while she trying to carry in groceries from her car. 

During the meeting, officials detailed a number of intervention programs and investments in the county including a mental health care facility opening in July, an increase in budget for education, summer youth enrichment and Hope In Action, a new initiative to fund nonprofit organizations. 

Alsbrooks acknowledged the frustration from residents.

"We need diverse opinions and we need individuals who are caring in this community," Alsobrooks said. "I think we come up with the best solutions sometimes when we have this kind of tension present."

She and other leaders stressed how solutions should not only come from the government, but community as a whole, especially when it comes to addressing youth violence.

"The bulk of carjackings are committed by children," she said. "We need their parents and family members and community members to be engaged. This is not just a government solution."

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