As police investigate the city's latest homicide, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Police Chief Darryl Forte are among the several speakers who addressed a large crowd gathered in support of the Kansas City No Violence Alliance.
The goal of Saturday afternoon's rally at 31st and Prospect Avenue was not only to acknowledge the city's problem with violent crime in the urban core, but to find a way to put an end to it.
Speakers, including James, talked about the city's 100-plus homicides every year and how residents shouldn't accept them. According to the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, or KC NoVA, since 2003 there have been more than 1,100 homicides in Kansas City, and it's not just one group's issue.
"It's a universal problem, and we have to understand that each day there's a different place, there's a different person who is facing the same thing. We can't say we're immune to these things, so no one should be isolated," said KCMO resident Donna Randolph.
The leader of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime agreed.
"I don't care how good these organizations do their jobs. Whether it's Ad Hoc Against Crime, whether it's KC NoVa, whether it's the police department, the prosecutor's office, the U.S. attorney, the state and federal probation and parole. They are pretty much doing their jobs, but if you don't have the community stepping forward and saying, ‘I've got a stake in this, and this is my community' [then nothing will change]," Alvin Brooks said.
Organizers hope coming out of the rally that churches, clubs and other groups will come together to work on the problem together.
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