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Chattanooga officials tell gang leaders to stop the violence

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 Put down the weapons, and stop the violence or we're coming after you.  Strong words coming from the mayor Thursday night after a violent week in our city.

Mayor Andy Berke and other city officials and clergy members held a "call-in", in an effort to put an end to the violence.  The message was delivered to known gang leaders in our area.

The mayor and officials say this recent violence affects beyond those involved; which is why they say they're extending this opportunity.  

"I am disgusted by what I've seen this week in terms of violence.  We had a couple weeks in a row without anything happening and then this week has just been terrible," said Mayor Andy Berke. "The community is certainly feeling the effects of it.  Tonight the message was the violence must come to an end."

The "call-in" is part of the mayor's Violence Reduction Initiative which aims at turning career criminals' lives around.

District 9 Councilman Yusuf Hakeem said the call in was to tell gang leaders they are at a cross roads.

"We were not asking them to tell on this person or tell on that, but affording them the opportunity to understand that you're at a crossroads you need to make a decision that you're gonna be a law abiding citizen or the hammer will come down on you," he said.

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