ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Amid continued violence police shut down a busy Union Boulevard in St. Louis for much of the day, Saturday.
There was a crowd but no gunfire, no violence.
Instead there was a group of demonstrators fighting back against both; marching for peace.
“We’ve got to man up. How do you man up? All this no snitching foolishness we’ve got going on in our community is ridiculous,” said Demetrious Johnson.
The Demetrious Johnson Charitable Foundation hosted the March for Peace.
One man took his idea for a gun buy-back to the city’s lead homicide prosecutor.
She noted prosecutors are now responding to homicide scenes along with police.
“I think it’s important to see what we are there from the very beginning,” said Asst. Circuit Attorney, Mary Pat Carl. “I think it’s important for witnesses to see that we are there from the very beginning. It’s important for the victim’s family to see we’re in this from the very beginning. We’re with them.”
Another man gathered support for a school to teach young people building and redevelopment skills.
“Teach them how to rebuild their communities where their grandmothers came up at, where they came up at, economically, historically, morally, on every level,” said LeIzac Isreal, hoping to establish the Marcus Garvey School of Building and Redevelopment.
He urged supporters to email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I want to do with the school (for North St. Louis) the same thing Joe Edwards did for The Loop … and what Leon Strauss did for the West End,” he said.
Also in the crowd was Renee Whitfield, whose son, Rashad Farmer, 23, was shot and killed less than 2 weeks ago.
She knows there are people who know who killed her son. Her message is simple: it’s going to be better for you to come forward, the tide is turning.
“I feel lifeless. A piece of my heart is gone,” she said. “I won’t let his death go in vain. I won’t. For the life of me – for the breath of me, I’m going to get justice for my baby.”
The passionate plea from Farmer’s uncle, St. Louis Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, on the night Farmer died, still rings across St. Louis.
“We’re not marching when they’re killing each other in the streets – let’s march for that!” Boyd said then.
His plea was answered Saturday with more than a march.
“I think when you look around at something like today (the March for Peace) that change is inevitable. I think people are standing up and taking back their streets,” Carl said.
Those with the will are leading the way.