August 8, 2003  -- Posted at 7:16 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  --Members of a new group say it's time for black people to stand up against crime by black people that is devastating minority communities around the state.

Michael Steele and his brother, state Senator Tracy Steele of North Little Rock, were among about 30 people who showed up at the Haven of Rest Cemetery yesterday. They attended an announcement of plans to reduce crimes involving blacks.

The coalition plans to launch crime prevention and intervention programs and hold community workshops and school programs.

Mayor Jim Dailey told the crowd their participation was needed.

So far this year, Little Rock police say that of the city's 30 homicides, 14 were blacks killing blacks. Last year, 23 of the 45 homicides were black-on-black.

Copyright 2003. Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.