Reporting Christie Ileto
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It has been a summer of bloodshed in Baltimore. Now community members act to stop the violence. And even people from outside Maryland join the effort.
Christie Ileto has more on their message of peace.
Their message: Enough is enough, and that simple arguments should never escalate to gunfire.
Dozens of motorcyclists from different states are riding for peace Saturday through the city amidst Baltimore’s bloody summer.
“We’re trying to show people it’s OK to get mad at each other. But to take somebody’s life, just walk away…” said Pat Redmond, Motorcycles Riding For Peace.
At last glance, Baltimore’s murder count stands at almost 140. That’s 16 murders higher than this time last year.
“The shootings are happening because they have a lack of this,” said Melvin Williams.
Baltimore native Melvin Williams from the series The Wire says violence stops when respect starts.
“Kids tell me, ‘Hey man, I ain’t having it. I’m already struggling. And if they don’t respect me, I make them know me,’” he said.
Activists are hoping to continue their message of peace with a bike ride next week through the city’s highest crime areas, hoping to bring change.
“We’re going to nine districts. The majority of this area is where there was a shooting,” said Redmond.
All summer long, community members have been fighting to end this year’s gun violence. Many have been marching in the same neighborhood streets damaged by it.
Others are praying for peace.
“We feel that the church and faith-based community have to do something,” said Lenore Howze, Victorious Ministries International.
And now motorcyclists are hoping their message, too, will stop the senseless killings.
Police tell WJZ there were two more shootings early Saturday morning. No one was injured.
Community Ride For Peace says they hope to have close to 400 bikers riding through the city next weekend.