ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In an ongoing mission to bring awareness to Rochester’s violence issue, community members and residents gathered at School 25 near Goodman Street in search of solutions Saturday.
This event, led by ‘Stop the Violence’ and put into motion by the ‘Uniting and Healing Through Hope’ is one of many rallies created to educate and bond the community closer together.
Since the start of the year, Rochester has experienced around 200 shootings. Christopher Rush, Executive Director of Rochester-based “Champion Academy” youth empowerment initiative, believes young people are the center of concern.
“This is particularly important because violence has been an issue for a very long time in Rochester,” Rush said. “But there’s a focus on it right now because it’s happening with the youth.”
Violence reduction efforts in the Rochester are yielding early results. The federal VIPER Task force —spearheaded by US attorney James Kennedy — takes a targeted approach. That effort has seen over 130 arrests made thus far across Buffalo and Rochester.
Efforts to stop the violence across the City similar to this event are continuously being made by the partnership of local community members and police.
“It’s about coming together to finally bring a lens and a light to the darkness of this violence to finally stop it,” organizer and local resident Clay Harris said. “Now the mission is stop the violence because it’s extremely important.”
“It’s marches, it’s rallies, it’s talking with children, all that,” RPD Captain Mark Mura said. “Supporting the community any way we can.”
With each march and gathering, ‘Stop the Violence’ hopes more people show out and step up to speak out against the violence.