Stop the Violence rally: Marching where 12 were shot and 2 killed

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — They’re marching to make a difference to stop gun violence. On Wednesday, organizers are planning a march through the streets around North Clinton Avenue in Rochester, where a dozen people have been shot this year, two of them fatally.

And they’re hoping that you have had enough and are ready to join them.

“It’s like a mass shooting every other week, right? But that’s what activated me,” Clay Harris, president and CEO of Uniting and Healing through Hope of Monroe County, said.

His organization is hosting a series of “stop the violence” events for the next three weeks. Faith leaders and law enforcement will also be marching and rallying. They want the community to join the march and rally on Wednesday to help make a change. They say it’s time that everyone steps up and says we aren’t going to accept the gun violence anymore.

“We can’t keep letting the violence go like it is, right? People are scared. Some people are scared to come out of their houses,” Monroe County Undersheriff Korey Brown said.

Now anti-violence groups are mobilizing — “to show the community and these would-be criminals or perpetrators or criminals that we are not tolerating it anymore — and if they need help, we are there to help them,” Harris said.

The march will start on North Clinton Avenue and Upper Falls Boulevard. They’ve chosen this spot for a reason. According to the Rochester Police Open Data Portal, there have been 12 shooting on North Clinton Avenue so far this year. Two of the 12 shooting victims died on Aug. 5; they were among five people shot that night.

Harris believes bringing help hope and faith back into the community is necessary to ward off the violence plaguing the city.

“That’s what we are trying to do. We are trying to bring faith and not fear. Not to be scared. Because things are going to change by us doing this,” Harris said.

There will be speakers and the opportunity for the community to ask questions at Wednesday’s march and rally. But will it make a difference?

Marsha Augustin: How effective do you think these stop the violence events are?

Undersheriff Korey Brown: The stop the violence events are just a start. Marching down the street is not going to make a difference. It could make a difference for that time. If people don’t want to work together to make change it’s not going to do anything. It’s not a one-stop solution where the police can just do this, and we can’t fix everything.

Harris explains the outreach has been effective. However, change doesn’t come overnight.

“It’s taking a while to undo this very web of deceit and evil,” he said.

The event will begin Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. People will gather at the Tops plaza on North Clinton Avenue and Upper Falls Boulevard. The march will begin at 7 p.m. and will stop at every street corner where these shootings took place. They will march for about half a mile, followed by a rally at Don Samuel Torres Park.

Brown added that what will also make a difference is the community working with police and for some of the state laws to change.