KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Dozens gathered at Hardy Park to bring awareness to gun violence in their communities. Most of the protesters had one thing in common; they say a loved one was gunned down and the murder hasn’t been solved.
Organizer Reginald Jackson says with all of the marches taking place across the country, he put this event together to bring attention to the suffering communities in his hometown.
“We seem to be marching for everybody else in every other cities but we’re not marching for our own. We have 55 unsolved black murders in Knoxville Tennessee, and I want to put a little more emphasis on trying to solve these murders” Jackson said.
“I’m trying to get the attention of the county mayor, city mayor, police chief, the sheriff, TBI, to get them to understand that we are people too. We want our cases solved just like everyone else.” Jackson said.
Cassie Bush was there to demand justice for her nephew that was murdered almost three years ago. His killer still has not been found.
“I still have sleepless nights, we cry all the time, its hard to comfort my sister, because you don’t know what to say. How can you tell her it’s going to be okay when you’re not okay?” Bush said.
Charlene Roberts was also there for her daughter, Jesse Roberts, who was killed last March by a stray bullet.
“It’s been over a year and there’s still no justice. They keep telling me they’re working actively but nothing still has been done and I need justice for my baby. My grandson here he asks me everyday nana is someone in jail yet? no they’re not.” Roberts said.
The demonstrators marched from Hardy Park to Austin East High School where they shared their personal stories, and urged those in the community to abandon the “no snitching” code. They encouraged working with the police to help them solve murders and to speak up if you see or know something.
These families say, they just want closure and justice for the ones they’ve lost.
“I still cry everyday, I can’t move forward. and I don’t think I’ll ever move forward, but if I know that the people responsible are charged, at that point, I can have a piece of mind.” Roberts said.
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