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Residents, city officials team up for "Stop The Violence" rally

Residents, city officials team up for "Stop The Violence" rally

BALTIMORE, Md. _WBFF) - There’s a call out now across the city to stop the violence.

City officials were out Friday in west Baltimore for a rally with the community. They all gathered at Mondawmin Mall on the parking lot outside Dunkin’ Donuts to send a positive message in the midst of a very deadly year.

It felt more like a party with music, dancing and free food. But the festive feeling came with a somber report as Baltimore struggles with an on-going spike in homicides.

As of Friday, June 2, there’d been 146 homicides so far this year, with six murders in the past week.

“Stop the violence, stop the violence!” the repeated call response from 5-year-old Kelsey Hines, as she stood holding the mike with Mayor Catherine Pugh and City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby by her side on center stage.

It’s a message that resonated with Dorothy Riddick-Scriber, whose son, Louis Scott, was gunned down near her home in August, 2010. When asked about the crowd that was gathering, Scriber said, "we want them to come out to save your children, save your children from this violence, cause it don't discriminate."

Nationally, June 2nd is recognized as Gun Violence Awareness Day. City leaders, including Mayor Pugh, believe events like this one can really help stop the killings.

"Gun violence has escalated in this city unlike we've ever seen before. And the message of putting down guns is important,” said Pugh.

"We have a 93% felony conviction rate, but we also have to be there for our children before they get to the criminal justice system. And this is doing just that, trying to resonate with them as far as the entertainers are concerned," said Mosby.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis also attended the rally. He summed up the event this way: "I'm not sure we'll be able to quantify the significance of this day, but getting the message out is certainly something that shame on us if we don't do it."

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