Black Community Leaders Call for End to Violence After Barber's Killing in Dorchester

Max Hylton was shot and killed while working at Celebrity Cut, a barber shop in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, one of a string of recent shootings in the city

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Black community leaders are calling for an end to violence in Boston after several recent shootings, including one that killed a beloved barber in Dorchester.

Friends of Max Hylton, who was fatally shot while working at Celebrity Cut Wednesday night, lit candles to honor his memory Friday night.

"He had a different energy," said a friend named Tyla, who one of Max's clients.

"We're already in a community where we already have a label," she said. "Everyone already looks at us like we're a certain type of people, and we go and prove that every day by doing stuff like this."

The community is rattled, with some pointing out that barber shops are gathering points and should be a safe space in the neighborhood.

The fatal shooting is just one of several violent crimes in the city over the last few weeks, and some Black leaders say the mayor and police commissioner aren't doing enough.

"It requires a deep respect for one corner of the city that, right now, is bleeding and needs more support," said former Boston City Councilor Charles Yancey.

At a press conference Friday evening, Rev. Kevin Peterson said that parts of the city are in a "state of emergency," and that city leaders are being dismissive of the violence in certain neighborhoods that are predominantly Black.

"We can police ourselves," said Peterson.

A man was shot and killed Wednesday in a barber shop, according to authorities in Boston.

He said that if the city won't act, he'll lead the effort to come up with a public safety strategy in Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester.

"We will convene a series of three community meetings to which only Black people are invited, and we'll be asking them to solve the community's public safety problems," he said.

Dorchester resident Shakeia Skinner says enough is enough.

"If we all get together as a community to do something about this violence, our communities will be better," Skinner said. "It can't get better if we all are silent."

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