Activists hold peace rallies in wake of surging gun violence

Community activists and city leaders organized multiple peace rallies Saturday in response to the surging gun violence in Philadelphia.

Video Transcript

- Details on the growing calls for peace amid an already violent year in the city of Philadelphia. This as investigators try to piece together an early morning shooting that ended with one person killed and five others injured. Action News reporter Beccah Hendrickson joins us live from police headquarters with the latest call for peace, Beccah?

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Walter, one city councilperson said gun violence should be the number one priority in Philadelphia, right now. There was a mass shooting last night. The city has recorded more than a hundred homicides in 2021, and community members want peace. These marchers hope the drums are loud enough to get people out of their homes. Children, like seven-year-old Frederick, want neighbors to hear this message.

- Time to put the guns down.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: This Guns Down, Sticks Up March brought together three community drill teams and drum lines, activists, and city politicians.

FAREED ABDULLAH: You have a mindset with a lot of young people that living is worse than dying. And that's what we're seeing.

KIANA FARLOW: It's important to have resources for yourself, because when you don't have anything to run to, you don't have anybody, you don't have any resources to run to, you run to the streets.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: The March ended with a rally at Christy Rec Center, where 16-year-old Kahree Simmons was killed playing basketball earlier this month. A mile away, this community meeting at Francis Meyers Recreation Center, where 17-year-old Kyeir Pickens was killed last week.

KENYATTA JOHNSON: Keep the monsters out of this park and this recreational facility.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Councilman Kenyatta Johnson hopes it's a call to action.

KENYATTA JOHNSON: History has shown when the weather gets nice, we see an increase in gun violence. So today, we want to be proactive and organize this community.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: This as gun violence continues to surge in Philadelphia. Early Saturday morning, one person died and five more were injured when shooters opened fire at a pop-up party on the 4200 block of Germantown Avenue in Nicetown, the city's 107th homicide of 2021.

DANIELLE OUTLAW: Makes it even more important to ensure that we have a very solid plan in place, a comprehensive plan in place that does not just involve the police, but also with other city stakeholders.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: The city did announce plans this week to start holding briefings by every other week on gun violence. Some of the plans include increased patrols engaging the community and efforts to get illegal guns off the streets. Live at police headquarters, Beccah Hendrickson, "Channel 6 Action News," Walter?

- All right, thank you, Beccah.