‘Enough is enough!’ Anti-violence groups rally to stop the violence

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Several “Stop The Violence” organizations rallied on Holland Street Monday evening. The same place where an 18-year-old was killed in the crossfire of two people shooting at each other in the parking lot of the Jordan Health Center. They are urging the community to denounce the violence that is plaguing Rochester.

The Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group and Rochester’s Anti-violence Coalition rallied, asking the community to identify the perpetrators of these recent shootings.

“We know the two people who were shooting each other. Why aren’t they in jail? Why hasn’t anybody come forward,” Hanif Abdeul Wahid with the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group said.

Roje Lowry, killed on Van Aukre Street, Kimanhi Hinds killed on East Avenue, Shanye Mootry killed on Holland Avenue, Eric Martin killed on Dewey Avenue, a 70-year-old grazed by a bullet, another shooting on Saturday and two shootings Monday afternoon.

Sirena Cotton says, “Enough is enough! It’s time to put down the guns.” Cotton is the founder of ROC The Peace, a grassroots Anti-violence organization she started in 2008.

It offers support and services to families of victims, mentorship programs for kids and she’s also partnered with RPD. Her 16-year-old son Christopher Jones was killed in 2007 by another 16-year-old.

Now,16 years later, her grandson Eric Martin Jr. was killed on May 31 on Dewey Avenue, just days ago sitting in his car.

“It’s hard, but with God and our faith we can do it,” Cotton said.

With tears in her eyes, she says her grandson would give the shirt off his back to someone in need. When he died, he gave a part of himself to save others.

“We want him here, but look what he did, the way he lived is what happened after he died, he gave his heart,” Cotton said.

The CEO and Founder of UnTrapped Ministries Gun Violence Prevention urged the community to step up and be bold, courageous, and come forward with any information on these shootings.

“If you are not comfortable coming forward, you can come and tell me, and I’ll come forward with the information. I will not have, and never will, accept or tolerate violence,” Justin Morris said.

These organizations are not only calling the community to address the violence, but they are also offering services designed to help young people find jobs, counseling, mentoring and recreation services.

“These shootings are terrible! I think in these times we really need to come together. There’s needs to be change, and we all must do our part, if you want to see change,”  Kaptah Xiamaiu, community member and owner of B Healthy Fresh Market said.

RPD is investigating these shootings.

Many of the people who are part of these coalitions were once in trouble themselves, now they are committed and desperately encouraging the community to help end the violence.

Pathways to Peace

Advance Peace

Black Agenda Group

Untrapped Ministries

ROC The Peace

Rise Up Rochester

Rochester’s Anti-violence Coalition