After 92 murders so far this year; community promotes peace

Dozens come together in Jacksonville for a festival of peace

By Kelly Wiley - I-TEAM reporter, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Dozens came together at Lonnie Miller Park in Jacksonville Sunday for a peace festival hosted by the Northside Coalition. The goal is to reduce violence and promote peace in their neighborhoods.

It's a celebration designed to unite residents and have some fun with live music, food, and events for children. 

The first event like this one was held in 1973, and the Northside Coalition has resurrected it to challenge the norm of gun violence in the city.

The goal, according to leaders, is to get the community to come together as one.

The peace festival comes just days after the Mayor gave an update on efforts to curve murders in Jacksonville. 

Officials say dozens of suspects were caught with the assistance of new programs -- like the real-time crime center. In all, the new technology has helped the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office charge 46 suspects in shooting-related crimes. 

"We all see it every day on the news, another shooting, another homicide. We say it’s time for us to come together as a city to turn that attitude around," said president of the Northside Coalition, Ben Frazier. "We don’t stand for gangs. We don’t stand for guns to be celebrated as being cool."

Organizers of the event wanted people from different communities and on all sides of town to come out to Lonnie Miller Park and join the festival for peace.

Frazier said the purpose was for all people to come together for one purpose to celebrate peace in the city. 

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.