Acting US Attorney Antoinette "Tony" Bacon held a press conference outside the US Courthouse in Albany Thursday afternoon to discuss the joint efforts by federal, state, and local agencies to address gun violence in the Capital Region.
Bacon says that the US Attorney's office is making reducing gun violence in the Capital Region one of the Northern District's top priorities by increasing the office's ability to prosecute gun cases. Additionally, the office will work on ending the cycle of recidivism by helping citizens turn their lives around and help keep children on a positive path.
Bacon says that shortly after she arrived in Albany, 11-year-old Ayshawn Davis was shot and killed in Troy. She says his life was filled with hope but it was cut short by gun violence.
"Like all of you, I was angry and outraged over this senseless death. But I was also motivated and driven, driven to be part of the change that will bring peace to this community."
Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins, along with the Chiefs of the Schenectady and Troy Police Departments, were also in attendance. Chief Hawkins says the COVID-19 pandemic has been a contributing factor to the violence in the community.
"We couldn't engage with our community as much as we could because it just wasn't safe. We couldn't engage in proactive activities like we did before because it just wasn't safe. And so that impacted our relationship with our communities, it created a void in a sense."
Over 100 people have been shot this year alone in the city of Albany and 15 people have been killed as a result of gun violence.
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