ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — An Atlantic City community is demanding change, calling for an end to gun violence among teenagers. Demonstrators marched Monday night, just days after the killing of a 15-year-old girl.
It’s been a deadly summer for teens in Atlantic City. That’s why about 75 people marched down Delaware Avenue, taking a stand against violence.
“There are no safe havens anymore. People are devaluing life,” one demonstrator said.
Dozens of people gathered at Shilo Baptist Church along Atlantic Avenue to say enough is enough: no more killings, no more sorrow, no more body bags in the streets.
“The body bags is a reality that if we don’t come together as a unit, even when that child is not our child, it is our child. And if we don’t grab somebody else’s child, each one, reach one, then the reality is they will end up in a body bag,” community member Lonniyell said.
Since June 3, three teens’ lives were cut short. Just last week, a 15-year-old girl was found shot to death in a vacant apartment.
“This really started as a grassroots movement. Literally Lonniyell did a post, and we responded and said ‘yeah we got to do something.’ And we literally just came together and said we’re going to do something and we started praying every Monday,” community member Tamika said.
And those prayers turned into a prayer vigil that led to a march.
Participants say they’re hoping the march gets others in the community involved in hopes of curbing the violence.
“I want to set an example so the young kids can follow me so we can do something positive,” Pleasantville resident Quyan Jones said.
Organizers say they also went to bring attention to drug addiction and domestic violence.