Birmingham city councilman Steven Hoyt raised some eyebrows at the June 18 council meeting saying crime, specifically in Belview Heights and Ensley, was getting so bad that maybe the National Guard needed to be called in.
“Growing up, my mother told me if you don’t know how to do something, ask somebody. Get some help. If the governor can’t get things in order, she calls the president. Maybe we need to call the National Guard in here to help us control this city,” Hoyt said.
He went on to clarify in an interview with CBS 42 that his remarks were intended to bring attention to the dire circumstances that a number of residents find themselves in, living in areas of the city where violent crime is rampant. Hoyt who has first hand experience with violence having been held up at gun point with his own family.
Watch his exchange with Mayor Woodfin here beginning at 1:54.
Woodfin’s response was, “We will not be calling the National Guard. I want to speak directly to the residents of Belview Heights who were not able to be here this morning but can hear my voice or are watching. Your neighborhood is very safe. These are not random killings. These are not random murders. These are interaction between people who know each other,” Woodfin said. “There is no terror in Belview Heights. Based on the definition of terrorism, these things that are happening are very personal in nature.”