Union sheriff, community coming together to combat gang problem - FOX Carolina 21

Union sheriff, community coming together to combat gang problem

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One of Union County's main streets. (Sept. 11, 2012/FOX Carolina) One of Union County's main streets. (Sept. 11, 2012/FOX Carolina)
UNION, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Union County is usually known for its small town feel. But increasingly, the sheriff there said they've been seeing "big city" problems.

"One you admit you have a problem, you have to do what you can to address it," Sheriff David Taylor said.

The problem? Gangs - rival groups going after one another.

Incidents like the shooting at the Corner Pocket in August show just how big the problem is becoming - four people were arrested in that case on attempted murder charges. There was also another shooting in August that ended in the death of a high school student.

"We had some issues with some different groups of people in the county. And some people were in denial that we had that problem," Taylor said.

Now, with that realization, there are people speaking up, and stepping out. People like Robert Hill.

"With everything that seems to be going on here, shootings and activities going on, we decided we wanted to do a march here," Hill said.

Hill is organizing a march Saturday in Union, set to send a clear message - there's no need for gangs in Union County, and whatever gangs are there aren't welcome.

"Union, small town, you know they always say it'll never happen to us," he said. "It is happening to us."

The sheriff admitted the problem won't fix itself with a march, but he said the more people know about the problem, the more they can do something about it.

"The law enforcement can't fix it. The judicial system can't fix it. We got to fix and deal with this problem within our community and our civic leaders and organizations have to step up to the plate and say 'what can we do to make things better,'" he said.

The march will be happening Saturday morning starting at the Old Sims High School, and proceed to the Union County Courthouse.

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