Wilmington's violence problem front and center in documentary

By Amy Cherry 11:50am, August 6, 2013 - Updated 7:03am, August 7, 2013
A documentary film screening and panel discussion by Pacem in Terris at the West Presbyterian Church gives an eye-opening look into the violence in Wilmington.

WDEL's Amy Cherry has a preview.

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"The People's Report" by University of Delaware Professor Dr. Yasser Payne is one of the largest projects of its kind. For it, he interviewed hundreds of people in Wilmington's most dangerous communities, places like Southbridge, where the cold, hard truth is...

"100 percent of black males were dropping out of school, and that is crazy, years on end too, and for us that is evidence of structural violence," he says.

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But the film also finds hope.

"Everyone, including the streets of Wilmington thinks its very possible for things to turn around as long as we get civic and political leadership on the same page," says Dr. Payne.

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The timing of the screening is appropriate as Wilmington comes off a violent weekend with a murder, three shootings, and a stabbing, that took Payne a bit by surprise.

"Jesus, Jesus. Wilmington's a tough town, I'll be honest with you," he says.

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He says he's never known any other place where more people he's met have died.

The film screening is at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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