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City leaders and activists call for change on the east side

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SAN ANTONIO--A town hall meeting to address crime on the east side shifted gears Thursday night.

People instead shared their negative experiences with police and focused officer-involved shootings.

Emotions were running high for everyone there, but now that everything is out there on the table, city leaders and activists said all they can do now is move forward.

"You're going to have crime", said NAACP Activist Cassandra Littlejohn. "That's in any community where there's poverty. It's not about more police in that community, It's about really getting in there and dealing with the root issues about where does this crime come from."

According to Littlejohn, that's not the only problem that needs to be addressed.

"It is different when a police officer shoots someone," Littlejohn said, "and it's obvious where it's not a good shot. It's not a justifiable shooting."

"This is bigger than simply police matters," said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. "It's a bigger thing than a police issue. There are social and economic issues that are tied into this, and we all have to come together."

"We wanted the dialogue," said Littlejohn. "We wanted the dialogues to happen."

When asked about policing and curbing crime and what needs to be done, Chief McManus told News 4 this is a much-heavier issue.

"What's happening in areas all over the country in areas like the east side is economic development is the key to change in those areas," said McManus. "We are working that right now in the promise area.

Local activists realize change isn't going to happen overnight.

They are meeting next Thursday before they present again at another town hall.

News 4 will let you know when that next town hall meeting is.

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