By Mike Dougherty
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia’s murder rate year-to-date is down about 40% from this time last year, according to police records. Activists at an anti-violence march in North Philadelphia Sunday said the numbers are moving in the right direction but they could be better.
“Show love. Stop the violence,” says Stanley Martin. Martin says he was holding his grandson when a stray bullet nearly ended his life last year. The scar on top of Stanley’s head is a constant reminder of the problem plaguing neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
Rosalind Pichardo with “Save Our City” hopes marches like this one at Broad and Girard give kids and teens the power and motivation to speak up when they see violence.
“We need to support authority here in Philadelphia in order for us to survive, in order for us to accomplish becoming a peaceful city — a city of brotherly love — which is what it’s supposed to be,” Pichardo said. “It’s good to stand up. It’s good to make a difference and it’s good to be an advocate.”
Philadelphia Prayer Clinic pastor Desmond Byrd was shot during a carjacking a year and a half ago. He says Philadelphia is full of good people and it’s time they stuck together.
“There are people that care,” Byrd said. “We need to work towards a good cause,”
Byrd believes the collective strength of community is something that can’t be defeated.
“We cannot allow this anymore,” he said. “I think we need to raise our voice higher than the negative voices and present something positive in the city of Philadelphia.”