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Mount Vernon Mayoral Candidate Thomas Speaks Out On Gun Violence

Pastor Stephen Pogue of the Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church speaking on behalf of mayoral candidate Richard Thomas (left) about violence in the city.
Pastor Stephen Pogue of the Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church speaking on behalf of mayoral candidate Richard Thomas (left) about violence in the city. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Following Friday’s brazen daytime shooting that left one man “seriously” injured near Mount Vernon City Councilman Richard Thomas’ campaign headquarters, the mayoral candidate is calling on the city to “declare independence from gun violence.”

Joined by local officials and figureheads, Thomas said that the rash of violence that has plagued Mount Vernon for the past few years - including several prominent homicides – needs to come to an end, claiming that Mayor Ernest Davis hasn’t been mindful of crime in the city.

Shortly after 1 p.m. on Friday, a man was shot, reportedly after being chased down by the gunman on South Fourth Avenue. The victim has not been identified by police, and the motive for the shooting remains unclear.

Thomas’ campaign manager Roberta James, found the wounded man while “keeping staff and children safe from harm’s way,” according to officials. The victim was sent to the hospital, but is expected to survive. Police are still investigating the shooting

According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, there were nearly 400 reports of shooting incidents in Mount Vernon between 2012 and 2014 while Davis was in office. Thomas said that in an effort to drop those numbers, police need to be readily available to the community, and that they need to form a better relationship with the people they are tasked with protecting.

“It’s time for Mount Vernon to declare it’s independence from mismanagement that puts emergency service personnel in jeopardy, and emboldens criminals to feel comfortable in our community because our mayor seemingly identifies with them,” Thomas said.

Thomas is one of several candidates vying for the embattled Davis’ mayoral seat, including Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson and City Council member Deborah Reynolds, who announced their intention to run for office earlier this year.

“The latest shooting continues the streak of violent crime under Davis’ mismanaged administration,” Thomas said, a notion that Davis laughed off and called a “campaign ploy.”

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