JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The MAD DADS organization held its annual Peace Ride Saturday to raise awareness about violence and crime in the area.
Stopping the violence may sound cliché, but that’s not holding back members of the Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder organization (MAD DADS) from doing what they can to end what they call “senseless crime.” The annual peace ride for life was created to help get the group's message out.
Stern and emotional pleas were just as loud as the roar of the motorcycle engines going on the 60-mile ride throughout Jacksonville.
Not only does MAD DADS want people to hear the roar of their motorcycles, they also want them to hear their message.
“All of our citizens have a right to live in a peaceful city without having to worry about somebody shooting their kid while they’re sitting in the house, with a bullet coming through the window,” AJ Jordan, with MAD DADS, said.
Jordan said the riders made 26 stops this year where violent crimes have happened in the city.
“(We’re going to) Atlantic and University Boulevards. We’re going to be hitting MLK. We’re going to be hitting Main Street. We’re going to be hitting Beaver Street,” Jordan said.
For Michelle Sykes, who rides atop her fiery-red motorcycle with the group Foxy and Furious, this year’s ride was even more personal.
“One of my daughter’s friends was killed by senseless violence about a couple of months ago,” Sykes said. “So, I’m out here supporting him and all the rest of the victims.”
Among the victims being remembered this year was Robert Bryant, who was shot and killed in Northwest Jacksonville earlier this week while at a stop light. Jordan said the cycle of violence can end, but it starts with the community coming forward if they have information.
“If you know who’s committing these crimes, these murders, these drive-by shootings, if you don’t turn them in, you’re as guilty as they are,” Jordan said.
“Jordan said people can get violent criminals off the streets and achieve an "an eye for an eye (justice) by turning them in and getting them off the streets.”
If you can help get a criminal off the street, call Crime Stoppers 877-845-TIPS.