Anti-violence groups gather to promote peace, demand justice

Family members want killers of their loved ones caught, justice served

By Zachery Lashway - Reporter/anchor, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It was a Saturday of action against crime in Jacksonville. Three organizations gathered at two locations in an effort to help make Jacksonville a cleaner, safer city.

On the Northside, volunteers from Blight to Bright were picking up trash, as they do on the third Saturday of every month.

"We want to try and clean up this community so it will grow better," volunteer Chartis Brown said. "It shows the community how we all can come together as one, whether it is gun violence or working to clean up the community. We are all working on one accord, making Jacksonville a better place to live."

At the same time, women who are part of the group Moms Demanding Action on Gun Violence were doing what they could to reduce violent crime in the city.

"We have been gathering school supplies to give away to children, especially in these neighborhoods who have been impacted by gun violence.  We also have books we are giving away to the community," Deidre Beck, with the group, said.

Some volunteers in the group have a personal connection to violence. Ralaunda Bray's son was murdered two years ago.

"The school supplies, I did in honor of my son, Tradarius Alexander. Throughout the pain, I had to find a purpose, and me knowing that the other kids will be ready for school when it starts, just giving the love from my son, reaching out to other kids makes me feel better," Bray said. "He was killed. They found his body on Detroit Street. He was left at a bus stop. He was shot. No one’s been arrested yet. I’ve been fighting for justice for two years, and I’m going to continue fighting."

Meanwhile, across town on the Eastside, the anti-crime group, MAD DADS held a walk for Curtis Worth, 57, who was gunned down on June 1st -- a day before the father of two would have turned 58.

Read prior story and see video report on Worth's murder here.

His daughter, Curtisena Williams, contacted News4Jax a week ago.

"That’s all I am waiting on...justice," Williams said. "We're almost there. We're almost there. I am just thankful right now that we got this far."

Williams, her family and friends joined members of MAD DADS going door to door looking for tips from people in the neighborhood where he was killed that they hope will help lead to his killer.

All three groups are hoping to make a change for good in Jacksonville.

Anyone with any information about either murder is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS (8477).

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