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Residents March Against Violence

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Dozens of West Tennesseans marched against violence in the streets with police, Saturday.

Police said so far there have been a total of 11 homicides in Jackson this year. Now residents who are tired of the violence said they are taking a stand with police and community leaders in the fight against crime.

"You hear gun shots every night, you hear sirens every night and it breaks my heart not only to look at this neighborhood but to go to funerals of guys that I went to high school with," said resident Mychal Hunt.

Residents raised their voices against crime while marching from Roosevelt Parkway through to East Chester Street in East Jackson.

Both Jackson Police Chief Gil Kendrick and Madison County Sheriff David Woolfork spoke to participants about building a stronger community relationship with law enforcement.

"I think the question we're all asking ourselves is can we rejoice and be glad in Jackson, Tennessee? Apparently we can't or we wouldn't be here, but we can be," said Chief Gil Kendrick.

Cynthia Williams, whose son Antwan Brooks was beaten to death on Carolane Drive, told 7 Eyewitness News that she believes change is possible if residents work with police.

"Enough is enough. 11 murders and the year is not even over is unacceptable," said Williams. "It's going to take everybody to come together to solve this problem, this gang problem, this drug problem, and this violence problem," said Williams.

Community involvement like the March Against Violence helps police to build relationships in troubled communities, which officials said was the first step toward change.

"I can tell you that the Chief and I are going to take this city back and we are going to work hard with your help," said Sheriff Woolfork.

Church leaders in the march told 7 Eyewitness News that their efforts are worth the difference no matter how small.

"If we don't get a handle on what's going on in the city, it's going to be detrimental," said Pastor Rickey Greene of Abundant Life Temple Ministries. "So maybe today we made an impact. Who knows? At least we are trying."
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