‘Stop the Violence’ group holds rallies across Monroe County Thursday

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A local campaign to stop the violence held a march throughout parts of Monroe County Thursday.

The organization Uniting and Healing Through Hope of Monroe County announced Wednesday it would hold a series of rallies, beginning in Henrietta. The group has continued to hold rallies alongside local law enforcement.

One group met at 790 Jefferson Rd. at 6:15 p.m. and another met at 111 Westfall Rd. at 6:15 p.m. The two converged at Monroe Community College at 7 p.m. for a community conversation.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and some Rochester Police officers were there.

Organizer Clay Harris said he’s not giving up the fight to take the streets back.

"We’re looking forward to the conversations, the different towns that have partnered up with us to address the violence that is permeating, not just in the city but in towns too, and we’re trying to come together as a total community so that we can show unity and solidarity to make a difference," Harris said.

The announcement of Thursday’s event on Wednesday came just hours after the city of Rochester reached its 39th and 40th homicides of the year.

Despite the relentless violence, Harris said people are coming together.

"The citizens are coming together, the police, the justice system, the churches, everybody is coming together and people are seeing that we care and that we’re not going to accept or tolerate this violence," Harris said.

Anti-violence activists were joined by police and several town supervisors to emphasize the importance of looking at violence as a county problem, not a city problem.

"I implore you to get involved, and to do what you can to stop the violence because there have been way too many people lost already this year," said Henrietta Town Supervisor Steve Schultz.

Seventy percent of the city’s 2021 homicides involved a gun.

Six people were killed with a knife or seven including the hatchet attack.

Three homicides happened during crashes.

One person, Steven Amenhauser, was burned alive.

About 60% of these homicide cases are still open.

There have already been more homicides in Rochester this year than in six of the city’s last 10 years.