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A look at New Virginia Majority's call tower petition for Norfolk, as officers arrest 11-year-old in Young Terrace-area shooting

By Alex Littlehales (WVEC)/13 News Now

The petition calls for two police call towers in both the Calvert Square and Young Terrace areas of the city.

NORFOLK, Va. — For Monet Johnson, an overnight shooting in the Young Terrace neighborhood of Norfolk renews the question of whether a proposed safety change in the city could make a change in improving gun safety. 

"Low-income, Black neighborhoods are susceptible to being over-policed and that’s a concern from the community," Johnson said.

On Sunday night, officers arrested an 11-year-old who they say may have pulled the trigger in a shooting on Nicholson Street, which led to a 17-year-old being critically injured and hospitalized.  

It comes in the midst of an effort by Johnson, the lead housing justice organizer for the New Virginia Majority, to get blue-light towers or police signal boxes installed across the St. Paul's area of the city. 

“I think installing the call tower says, 'We may have missed the mark, but we do care about what happens to you,'” Johnson said.

The petition, sent to and shown to the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, has gotten roughly 130 signatures from the Calvert Square and Young Terrace areas, the two areas which the petition calls for to receive the first of those towers. However, Johnson said that the number would ideally increase to as many as 10. 

“If there is a basketball court, there should be a call tower, for people when they’re outside and may need help," she said.

Johnson adds the NVM is working to grow the petition and continue speaking at both city council and NRHA Board of Commissioners meetings to the point where city officials will seriously consider moving forward with this request.

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