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Parents affected by gun violence rally at park
CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- Four shootings in two days in the same place has sent a pretty sad message about public safety downtown.
Monday night parents gathered where that violence unfolded to make a different statement. The message was not only that the community must to do better at solving these violent crimes but also they have to do a better job of preventing them in the first place. Parents who lost their sons and daughters urged people to take a good hard look at the effects of gun violence.
It was the club that nobody wants to belong to, parents who've had to bury a murdered son or daughter. Monday evening, they held signs with their loved ones pictures to show the impact of homicide through the faces of those left behind.
Dwayne Jennings' son was murdered and he said, "When I was growing up, we didn't have to worry about no killing or nobody shooting you from the back and just shooting you down for no reason."
Each father and mother has a story of pain and immeasurable grief.
"My name is Peggy Harris. My son was John Harris. He was killed in 2007 in Northside."
Many called the shooting death of Joshua Taylor that happened last week senseless. As well as the three shootings that happened in the same spot only one day later.
"It's definitely hard because at the end of the day we're all in this together," said Pastor Nick Burnett, a community activist. "Your kid needs to be my kid, my kid needs to be your kid and at the same time we need to come together collectively."
Police chief Jeffrey Blackwell, other officers and community leaders joined the parents. Parents said more people need to step up and help the police department so that fewer people know the pain of losing a child.
"It was a good thing that I came out to represent him. It wasn't just him I was representing. I was representing the whole Cincinnati area. This gun violence just needs to stop," said Yvette Hooten whose son was murdered.
Parents also wanted to talk about the importance of using Crime Stoppers. They said often times people have information about crimes but don't want to get involved until it happens to them.
There have been 41 homicides in the city so far this year.
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