Hundreds unite against violence at 'Roc the Peace Fest'

July 21, 2018 06:26 PM

Hundreds of people are showing unity against street violence in Rochester Saturday night in Jones Square Park.

The 9th annual "Roc the Peace Fest" comes after the city launched what's meant to be a coordinated campaign urging people not to turn to gun violence.

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Since the beginning of 2018, Rochester Police records show 75 people have been shot, that's a decrease from previous years.

This time last year there were 105 people shot.

Community organizers and city officials say this still isn't good enough.

Earlier this week city officials partnered with some of these community groups like 'Rise Up Rochester' and 'Roc the Peace' to launch the 'Roc Against Violence Coalition' and the 'Think About it Campaign.'

The idea is to urge young people to think about the consequences of gun violence and the impact on the community.

Darryl Bernard Nicholson, a Rochester resident explained, "You wonder who it was...Was it one of mine? You got innocent bystanders too...It just makes you scared sometimes...Scared to even go out."

Nicolson wasn't the only one to think more has to be done. "You know, the mayor can only do so much. The police can only do so much. It takes a community to get together and work together to end this violence. One person can't do it," said Sirena Cotton of  'Roc the Peace.' 

The mayor made an appearance at the festival also on Saturday.

Rochester residents continued to speak up at the event including Tonya Allen. Allen told News10NBC, "don't be scared to report things in your neighborhood that you know will have negative impact on the children...Where I come from it takes a village to raise a child and we need to get back to that concept."

Even though the event ended Saturday, organizers hope the message last long past this weekend.


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