Meghan Walsh

Richmond youth share stories of struggle and hope

When Jamaya Walker’s father was murdered last March she cried so fiercely she became physically ill. She still has the bullet that took his life, but now, instead of weeping, she writes. “When you’re a daddy’s girl and your dad gets murdered, you don’t know what to do,” 14-year-old Walker said. “I just wrote all my emotions. I had to.” Walker will join other Richmond youth this Sunday at the East Bay Center for Performing Arts as RAW Talent presents…

Public salaries outpace residents’ income levels

Richmond public employees earn a yearly average salary almost twice the median household income of the city’s residents, leading to a drain of wealth and resources as many of those employees choose to live outside of the city.

Security guard accused of shooting supervisor pleads not guilty

The security guard charged with attempted murder after he allegedly shot his supervisor last month pleaded not guilty in court on Tuesday. Doran Long’s preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Nov. 15. Wednesday he remained in county jail on $5.3 million bail. The 50-year-old Long, whose crew cut had grown disheveled after almost two weeks in custody following the Oct. 19 shootings that led to his arrest, appeared in a Richmond courtroom Tuesday morning before Judge Peter Berger….

Police partner with local group home providers

Whenever a police cruiser pulls up to the curb framing Jamie Richard’s neatly manicured lawn, his heartbeat flutters. “I immediately think, ‘Which one of my kids is in trouble?’” he says. “I’ve been doing this a long time. I’m conditioned.” Richard opened North Star group home – a state-funded living facility for kids who, for a multitude of reasons, are wards of the court and in need of residential care – on Burbeck Avenue 20 years ago, and experience tells…

Richmond Explorers set bar high at state competition

Generally, when you sit a 19-year-old at a table with a reporter, it’s a classic recipe for one-word answers and evasive glances at the ground. Yet, Francisco Rodriguez stands to shake my hand. He looks me directly in the eye, and speaks clearly, in full sentences. “That’s everything they teach you in the post,” Rodriguez says. The Explorers, a police-directed extracurricular program that grooms youth not only for law enforcement but also for life, hasn’t just given Rodriguez social tools…

Daytime curfew enforces accountability

The ominous gray clouds creeping over the hills and dampness blanketing the city tell Sgt. Eddie Russell it’s going to be a slow day. “Rain usually keeps them off the street,” he says from behind the wheel of his cruiser But less than half an hour into his Tuesday morning patrol, Russell spots what appears to be two teenaged boys strolling down the sidewalk of a residential neighborhood. At first glance, they don’t seem to be breaking any laws –…

Richmond fighters shine at amateur exhibition

The boxers fought tough. The crew produced a top-notch event. The problem was few people showed up. “This is a good venue for Richmond,” said Jesse Coleman, an employee who travels with United States of America Boxing, the governing association of amateur boxing. “They did a good job of organizing, and they’ve got good fights. They just need an audience.” They, the Richmond Police Activities League, were expecting over 1,000 spectators. But on Saturday afternoon only about 180 filed into…

Richmond to host amateur boxing event Saturday

The allures of gang life, especially for young adults and children with little else – no guidance, no job, no future – are similar to those of boxing: Power, respect, purpose. Boxing, though, offers those draws paired with a positive outcome, instead of violence.

Advocates call on community to end violence

There were fewer bodies in the audience at Thursday night’s Office of Neighborhood Safety meeting than have been laid out in blood on Richmond’s streets thus far this year. But although organizers said they were discouraged by the turnout at the Dynamics of Peace forum, those who did show up at the Nevin Community Center did not lack for conviction. “Right now we’re a small team, but if we all come together we can be an army,” said Charles Muhammad,…

Richmond police utilize social media

When Michelle Milam first set up Richmond Police Department’s Facebook profile in January, she couldn’t help but wonder how many people were going to “like” the page. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Richmond Police Facebook page had 634 fans, with 14,711 unique views over the last month. The average Facebook user has only 130 friends, according to the social media site’s statistics. “A big part of it is to build those one-on-one relationships,” said Milam, the department’s crime prevention manager….