Mayor, community leaders march to end violence

Jacksonville community wants to see streets free of drugs, violence

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Members of the Jacksonville community marched to end violence in their neighborhoods Friday night.

The march started on 45th Street and Moncrief Road on the north side of Jacksonville.

Mayor Alvin Brown joined the group as they marched through the area known for crime.

People said they came together Friday to have their voices be heard, they said they've had enough crime.

The young and old marched through their community near Greater Moncrief Baptist Church, not far from where Mayor Alvin Brown said, he grew up.

Brown said his old neighborhood has seen better days.

"Obviously you got a lack of opportunity here, crime drugs, just like a lot of tough neighborhoods. But, there is also life here," said Brown.

There is some progress in recent years Mayor Brown said, with the help of the community, law enforcement and through marches, they can make a change.

"People are walking out here now, it's a lot safer than it was before. It's gotten a whole lot better," said Brown.

Brandon Turner, 17, told Channel 4 he doesn't feel safe. He's marching for his cousin who survived a gun shot a few years ago, not far from the march Friday night.

"It's too many black men dying in our community, too many black women dying, too many babies dying," said Catherine Ivey.

Ivey's son was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting last year.

"One person that we hand this flyer to might say, I know something about this homicide, call Crime stoppers and solve it," said MADD DADS, Donald Foy.

Foy and other community leaders also handed out flyers Friday night. The flyers show all the names of the people killed in the Moncreif neighborhood. It's an initiative the Pastor of Moncrief Baptist Church has led for 18 years.

"I'm passionate about helping these brothers because God wants us to live and not die," said Pastor Quovadis Thomas.

The number to call Crime Stoppers is 1-888-845-TIPS.

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