New group hitting streets of EBR, trying to reduce increasing homicide rate
BAKER - Dozens of friends and family members who lost loved ones to gun and domestic violence gathered Saturday for prayer, a march, and a rally.
"Events like this help create the awareness in the community that we need curtain some of this violence," Rev. Cedric D. Murphy of Ethel, who led the prayer, said.
Dozens of members of the new group called STOP, short for Stop, Pause, and Pray, held a prayer in the parking lot of the Baker Police Department before marching down a busy Groom Road.
After an hour and two-and-a-half miles later, they gathered for a rally at a shopping center on Plank Road. Parents like Hazel Dunn, who lost a son to gun violence, shared their stories of loved ones who were murdered.
"We have to stop the violence. Us parents can't do it alone. It takes all of us," Dunn said.
The organizer of the group, Mary Foster, whose son was killed in May of this year at the IHOP restaurant in Baton Rouge on Siegen Lane, is trying to reach out to vulnerable youngsters with access to guns.
"Too many young kids getting hold of guns. They don't think before they pull the trigger. They just do because they're angry," Foster said.
Foster says her group is planning more anti-violence events, including another bigger march next year.