Boston officials, residents deal with recent homicide increase


BOSTON ( -- Boston has a new mayor and police commissioner and both are facing a rise in violent crime, which resulted in nine homicides in the city so far in 2014. Residents are also bothered by the increase.

Senseless street violence takes Jonathan Ramos back to 2012 when his younger brother George was shot and killed in what was believed to be a case of mistaken identity. Ramos heard the shots; it happened right across the street from his family's Dorchester home.

"It's different when it hits you, when it's your brother. Every murder after that kind of affects you even more because it's like no one's learning," Ramos said.

There has been nine murders in Boston since the new year, three since Sunday. Many of the killings are thought to be gang related, some retaliatory strikes.

"Me personally, I have lost eight to nine friends in the last 2.5 years alone just due to street violence because someone lives in a different neighborhood or you're rocking the wrong national league hat. It's crazy," Ramos said.

The spike in violence has caught the attention of law enforcement, and community leaders.

Longtime activist Eugene F. Rivers, III says he has confidence in newly elected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and newly appointed Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. He says policing is only part of the equation.

"The issue of parental responsibility has always been the big elephant in the room. The black community, black men, black fathers have to get on an A game and not give excuses for the fact that we failed these young men," Evans said.

Ramos lost his father to gun violence at the age of 1. At this point, he can only see one way out.

"My biggest dream is just to leave Dorchester, go to college, live," he said.

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