Buffalo's "MVP" group bringing parents together against gun violence

Posted at 11:42 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-02 23:42:48-04

The early morning murders of 17-month-old baby, Kyrie, and his 54-year-old grandmother, Yvette Johnson, marked the city's 24th and 25th homicides of the year.

Her son, Devery, telling 7 Eyewitness News, that she was a hardworking woman that loved her family and her grandson dearly.  He says that he doesn't know who or why someone would've shot them on his mother's front porch. 

Neighborhood anti-violence activist, Neal Dobbins, understands exactly what the family is going through. 

"We know the pain of the lady's family that was murdered yesterday and the mother of that baby that was killed yesterday.  We share that pain," Dobbins said.

Dobbins son, Neal Jr., died from gun violence a few years before.  And his death became a main driver for Dobbins to create the group, MVP.

"The "M" stands for mothers and men, minus the "V," which stands for violence, equals the "P" peace."

Less than 24-hours after this latest shooting--Dobbins and about a dozen other volunteers were out canvassing the Central Park area.  They've been going into neighborhoods for the past month--and already--400 "MVPs" have joined.

"We aim to register 1,000 parents to stand in unity and solidarity to find ways to address this violence in our community."

It's not just parents, MVP wants to join, but also their children.  They are partnering with Corey Graham Elite Sports Academy to give kids an outlet, while providing them with skills classes.

"We are running this like a military campaign.  We are going to occupy and we're not going to rest until we see our people in better conditions," Kenneth Simmons, MVP volunteer, said.

And in six weeks.

"We're going over to the Fruit Belt to offer that same fellowship and that same love.  To that community and to that family," Dobbins said.

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