MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Amid increased violence in Minneapolis, community groups held two events in north Minneapolis Saturday with a mission to end gun violence.
“We’re banding together with other community organizations and mothers who have lost their children and standing and saying, 'no more,'” said LaTanya Black of Mothers Against Community Gun Violence.
Black, who lost her daughter earlier this year in a shooting in St. Paul, helped organize a peace walk in north Minneapolis. Just this week, Minneapolis had three deadly shootings, with two happening on the north side.
“It’s hard because I think about my baby and she’s not here, and I think of all the other mothers, the stories I’ve been hearing,” said Black. “We have mothers here today who have lost their children to gun violence and we just need it to stop.”
According to Minneapolis police data, there’s been nearly a 20 percent increase in violent crime compared to this time last year.
“When you are repeatedly faced with trauma, starting with COVID, then we had the death of George Floyd and now we got the uptick in violence in the community and that’s because people are grappling with what’s going on in the community,” said Deseria Galloway, the CEO of Wellspring Second Chance Center.
Galloway was one of the organizers of a gun buyback event at Shiloh Temple. With no questions asked, people could turn in guns for a gift card. Those participating could then be connected to a variety of health resources.
“We want to help bring some healing to the community and one way to do that is to take the guns out of sick hands and offer some services,” Galloway.
During a gun buyback event at Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis, an AR-15 was among the guns turned in on Oct. 3, 2020.
An AR-15 was among the guns collected. Once processed, the guns will be given to Art is My Weapon, which will use the firearms to create art to encourage social change.
“All of us coming together will help one wrong, you know take one gun out of the hands of a youth that shouldn’t have it to begin with,” said Jalilia Brown, the pastor of community outreach and engagement at Shiloh Temple.
About a mile away from the buyback event, dozens marched down Penn Avenue North at the peace walk. Residents participated alongside police and city leaders, sending a message of unity amid a turbulent year.
“We’re pushing for a state of safety in our neighborhoods where everyone can thrive and we here believe that every person in every neighborhood deserves to feel safe,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.
Along the way, the group made several stops to honor those lost to gun violence.
“We’re tired of it,” said Black. “We’re claiming back our communities, making it a safe place for our children and we’re just walking in unity to bring peace in our communities.”