(03/01/13) - Friday afternoon, the Saginaw Police Department and Michigan State Police held a press conference addressing a recent string of violence in Saginaw County.
This week, a man was beaten to death in Saginaw. Investigators told ABC12 that five men were driving near Roberts and Ray Monday morning, on the city's east side. They beat 52-year-old Gregory Gross. It was the first murder in Saginaw this year.
Also this week, a man and a pregnant woman were shot in a drive by shooting in Buena Vista Township near the police station. Their injuries aren't life threatening.
Other city leaders are also coming together to talk about crime. Local pastors say now that the police have met to talk about the violence, they want to see some serious action taken.
The recent crime that took place this week has pastors asking a lot of questions. They want to see more than just police talking about it - they want to see them do something about it as well.
Pastors blame some of the violence on lack of resources. They say young men don't have many places to turn, and if there's more time addressing the cause of the problem - there will be a better understanding of why the problem exist when it comes to solving it.
"I hope both agencies, Michigan State and the local agency would seriously consider doing something that is active, some action, because that's what we need. We talk a lot, but we have to be about doing something that's going to cause this violence to be addressed in a serious manner that says we don't want that in our city," said Pastor Robert Davis, of Christ Fellowship Missionary Baptist church.
Some pastors argue that the integrity of law enforcement is questioned at times. They say that won't reduce crime.
You have to admit that there have been a lot of questions about law enforcement over the years. Not only with what happened with the Milton Hall situation, but it's not just in the city, but it's all around and then you find where law enforcement officials, they're guilty of criminal activity themselves," said Pastor Hurley Coleman, of Greater Coleman Temple. "If the police department from the city of Saginaw and state police come together, then the next thing that they should do is bring the community in and let's have conversations about how this policing will happen."
Pastors have been meeting since last month to address the problems in their community.
"We kind of aligned ourselves to not just look at violence, but we want to look at economic development. We want to look at education, we want to look at empowerment. We're not only concerned about today, but we're also concerned about the future of Saginaw," Davis said.
Davis says he and other pastors plan to visit Washington in the future to talk with congress about the violence in their community. They hope this will lead to funding for programs to help reduce crime.
ABC12 Main Station