Cedar Rapids 'Stop The Violence' march this weekend aims to tackle crime

Published: Apr. 19, 2019 at 3:51 AM CDT
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Two people living in Wellington Heights neighborhood in Cedar Rapids are trying to do something about the recent rash of shootings in their neighborhood.

The group will meet at Redmond Park, and march throughout the neighborhood.

Police have been called out to several shootings in that area recently.

Just two weekends ago, police responded to four reports of gunfire over three days. In one shooting, a 25-year-old man was shot in the back, but police say he hasn't cooperated in the investigation. Another led to the arrest of two people, the other two are under investigation.

Marchers will meet at Redmond Park at 12:30 p.m. After the march, they will have food and games for kids.

Cedar Rapids police and Mayor Hart are expected to there.

Brandon Jackson and Paki Williams are putting together the march. They said the recent shootings have them scared to let their kids go out and play. They are worried about crime increasing in the summer months when school is out. That's why they say a message during the march will be to get kids active in the summer.

"When they're out of school, they don't have anything to do, so they just sometimes roam the neighborhood, and with nothing to do or no activities, that just leads to negative recreation, and that's just a problem not just here in Cedar Rapids, but nationwide,” said Jackson. “We need to offer more services for kids to do to keep them active."

"My personal opinion would be that more parents are involved,” added Williams. “If the parents are more involved, that gives the kids less time for mindless thoughts and intents, and nobody thoughts and intents, and no one is hanging out in big groups of kids that's doing things they're not supposed to."

Cedar Rapids police said they are taking some steps to stop crime include forming a Police Community Action Team to message people prone to being involved in criminal activity, having school resource officers work with high school students and working with probation officers to hold those committing crime accountable.

Brandon Jackson just launched an organization called ‘Dream Sports.’

The goal is to have sporting activities and other events to keep kids active during the summer, and out of the streets.

There is a Facebook event made for the event. It can be found at: