Albany’s police chief calls for peaceful solution to violence

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Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins reiterated his frustration with the city’s latest murder, as the investigation continues into a Thursday evening homicide. It was the city’s 18th homicide this year.

“We have got to get these young people to resolve these grievances in a peaceful way,” said Hawkins.

The chief says the city being “inundated” with guns is just one challenge to stopping violence.

“This proliferation of guns that have just inundated communities across the country, has contributed—it’s not the sole cause, guns aren’t the problem, but guns being available to these groups of young men who are engaged in these conflicts, is a combustible mix,” Hawkins said, noting his department has already taken more than 100 illegal guns off city streets this year.

The shooting happened at the 300 block of Second Street between North Lake Avenue and Judson Street.

“We have got to get these young people to resolve these grievances in a peaceful way.”

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins

Hacief Oliver, 26, was killed after being shot in the torso. A second victim – who is 21 – is recovering at Albany Medical Center with injuries to his abdomen. Police say he’s expected to survive. Chief Hawkins says the two victims were walking down the street when they were approached by a group of young men with a grievance who then shot them.

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A ‘Stop the Violence’ rally was held in Albany on Friday. It was hosted by the Boys & Girls Club. Children off school for the holiday gathered with local youth leaders to discuss ways to proactively lead in children in a better direction and support them through the challenges they face. Hawkins was also there, joined by other members of local law enforcement.

NewsChannel 13 spoke to an after school program instructor at the Boys & Girls Club who says her dance class provides an outlet for kids, despite what they may be exposed to at home.

“I know that sometimes when they leave our building, they go to unhappy homes or violent situations that they might not tell us, so while I’m there I give them very intensive dances so that at least they’re calm before they face the storm at home,” said Kayla Williams, a youth development instructor.

Anyone with information on Thursday’s shooting is asked to call Albany Police Detective Division at (518) 462-8039.