ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Presumptive Mayor Malik Evans headlined a public gathering organized by local advocate group Stop The Violence where he addressed Rochester’s record in violence Saturday.
Under the observance of ‘National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims,’ dozens of community members shared stories of pain and pled for a safer, less violence-filled future in Rochester.
Evans, who attended the event as a keynote speaker, urged residents to stay united and suggested a number of solutions, including economic stability, to stopping crime in its tracks.
“We have to keep our faith, so we let others have their faith,” Evans said. “We can have a city that thrives and not just survives. We can increase the home ownership rate, we can provide jobs to young people, to anyone that wants a job they can be able to get a job.”
Only six days ago, a mass shooting in Rochester took two lives and injured another two. According to regional police data, Rochester has faced 260 shootings since the start of the year and roughly 60 homicides.
Evans’ campaign has identified gun violence as a top priority — seeking to declare a gun emergency. Evans urges the community, and to those who were present at the event, to stand up and be part of the solution.
“There is a way to not let your past dictate your future, and cause you to do something that will allow you to end your life, either by heading over to the cemetery or in jail,” Evans said. “I need all of you to continue to be those ambassadors, and soldiers in the army, to help to transform our communities.”
Majority of those who attended Stop The Violence’s seminar at local Ark of the Covenant church on Saturday were also seen at First Genesis Baptist Church marching as part of a local remembrance for murder victims.