MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hundreds of people took their message of hope to the streets Saturday morning.
Participants flooded Frayser to deliver the message, that it will take a community coming together to stop gun violence.
“We are tired of bullets flying and people dying in Memphis,” Mike Ryall, MPD Interim Director.
Community leaders and police officers alike joined forces in this third unity walk.
“Thank you for inconveniencing yourself today, because this work is inconvenient. It’s uncomfortable, it’s not easy,” DeAndre Brown, of Frayser, said.
Ironically this meeting of the minds, started here in front of the Dr. Martin Luther King Prep Academy. Dr. King led many marches during the Civil Rights movement with the push for progress marching on.
“Even if you have to push yourself past exhaustion, do more,” Brown said.
Those pounding the pavement say they are clouded by concern amid a rise in gun violence.
“Unless we do something to preserve the life of ourselves, we can’t expect anyone else to do it,” Calvin Martin, a former Frayser resident, said.
At a time when Tennesseans 21 and older will legally be able to carry a handgun without a permit beginning July 1st, these participants say this is needed now more than ever.
“Stop passing laws that spread guns more and more through our community,” Mayor Jim Strickland said.
The growing concerns don’t end there, as there is also a push to build a bridge between people and police.
“We have to be the voice for the police, we have to be the voice for the police,” Vinessa Brown, of Frayser, said.
Those voices, along with signs in hand from the young to the more mature and from all backgrounds are walking towards a better future.
This nearly 2 mile walk is bringing those from every corner, together. The idea is to rally the community from all over, to give change a chance.
“It’s going to take a community effort for things to change,” Pastor Ricky Floyd, of Frayser, said.
With this being the first step in that crusade for change. Organizers say stay tuned for even more efforts in the near future.