Dozens of people gathered in east Columbus to unite in a march against violence Sunday afternoon. The event came on the same day as the city’s 54th homicide. Multiple shootings have also taken place in east Columbus over the last two weeks.
The group met at the Family Missionary Baptist Church and marched the perimeter of a 68-block area including Livingston Avenue.
Stanley Constant was among the approximately 100 marchers. Many like Constant came from neighboring areas, but said they marched as one family because violence impacts everyone.
“Whatever community it is in, it will eventually trickle down and effect the next community. So I’m just here to support,” Constant said.
Organizers said they have been having similar marches once a month for nearly two years. However, this month’s march took on a special significance.
East Columbus has seen at least six shootings in the last two weeks. That includes the murder of 34-year-old store clerk Imran Ashgar.
Early Sunday morning, the city’s 54th homicide of the year took place a few miles from the march site.
“It just simply will not be tolerated. It can’t be tolerated when any young life is taken and I think that’s the message today,” said Columbus City Councilman Hearcel Craig.
Craig was amongst the coalition of ministers who helped to lead the march. Craig said his mother lived in east Columbus for 43 years.
NBC4 asked Craig about the growing feeling by many residents that city leaders have given up on their neighborhood in the face of so much violence.
“I want to tell you from what I believe a point of fact is that my colleagues do care. I know that the mayor certainly cares. But we need to do more and there’s the recognition that we need to do more. And we’re going to do more,” Craig said.
According to Craig, a community center is in the works for the area.
Meanwhile marches similar to those held Sunday take place on the first Sunday of every month. SOURCE
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