Sojourner’s Truth Staff
Former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, who is running for a fourth mayoral term, held a press conference on Algonquin Street, in front of the home of a recent shooting, to decry the current administration’s handling of the recent surge in violence, particularly a homicide rate that could possibly top last year’s record of 61 murders.
“The most important statistic in the city has been and will be … 55 murders to date,” said Finkbeiner as he started to lay out a raft of statistics on shootings that have increased dramatically over the past two years.
“Fifty-five murders, 2,200 shootings, 250 homes shot up,” he said enumerating the violence that has plagued Toledo in 2021.
“Every neighborhood in our city is threatened,” said Finkbeiner. “Not just Swayne Field, not just Detroit and Monroe. It is every neighborhood in our city. Here, near where the mayor lives, where the law director lives in Old Orchard and the mayor does not want to talk about that.
“This is not the Toledo, Ohio people bargained for and not the Toledo, Ohio they will remain living in if we don’t get things under control.”
Finkbeiner spoke of the toll that the current level of violence has taken on the economic condition of the city, particularly the decrease in business activity at the Franklin Mall – “not the same level of income because of too many shootings.”
The former mayor assailed the current mayor and the chief of police, George Kral, for not having a plan “in terms of quelling the violence in Toledo.”
Finkbeiner and his supporters displayed a chart tracking the number of homicides in Toledo from the start of his third term in office, 2006, through the year 2020. According to the chart, there were 99 homicides during the four years of the Finkbeiner administration, 120 during the Mike Bell administration, 120 during the Michael Collins/Paula Hicks-Hudson four years and 128 during the first three years of the Kapszukiewicz administration. There have been 55 homicides already during the current mayoral term bringing the Kapszukiewicz total, for just under four years, to 183, with two and months to go.
Finkbeiner highlighted his already announced 10-point program for dealing with violence by emphasizing that the city needs, among other issues, to form a collaboration between the Toledo Police Department, the Lucas County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol and to rebuild the Block Watch program.
Finkbeiner emphasized that the overwhelming numbers of homicides are happening in the African-American community.
“I have demonstrated where my heart is by being a close friend to the African-American community and the Hispanic/Latino community,” he said before noting that the upsurge in murders in the African-American community is a fact “that I cannot tolerate.”
To that end, Finkbeiner urged city leaders to start “taking care of those with mental health and abuse issues.
His 10-point plan, said the former mayor, “is the only plan on the street today.”