BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) Hundreds marching right down the middle of Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, the very streets overrun by violence and crime.
"It's very powerful. It's a sign that the community is standing up. It's a sign that we've had enough and it's time we take our neighborhoods back," said Randy Sargent, Buffalo resident and President of Stop Killing Clothing.
They are hoping the surrounding neighborhoods see the messages blaring from their signs and hear their chants to stop the violence. Already in Buffalo there have been 29 homicides this year. New York State Senator Antoine Thompson participated in the march and received an award for his work with anti-violence campaigns. Thompson says the violence is tearing apart communities.
"We don't realize sometimes how many young people have been negatively impacted by violence either through seeing it themselves, having a friend, a loved one or classmate that's been a victim of violence...having a relative that's either been murdered or incarcerated," said Thompson.
Many people brought photos of their loved ones who were murdered to the rally. Later the pictures will be posted on a public billboard. Organizers hope putting faces to names will lead to less crimes.
For Essence Craig the location of the rally hit close to home. Her brother was killed right across the street.
"We need to find some way to stop this. It's senseless killing and we're losing our people for absolutely no reason at all," said Craig.
The group is still collecting photos of deceased youth for the billboard. For more information contact Anita Scott (716) 563-9699 or Pastor Kenneth L. Green (716) 348-4447.