Participants at a Lexington peace walk Saturday took time to remember the nine people killed at a Charleston, S.C., church on Wednesday, as well as a Cincinnati police officer who was fatally shot on Friday.
Violence is "not just a local problem. It's a national problem," said Anita Franklin, who began organizing the peace walks last summer, after her son Antonio Franklin, 21, was shot and killed at Duncan Park.
Franklin has partnered with Lexington police Sgt. Rahsaan Berry's "We Care" initiative to host the walks, and she said she is committed to continuing them.
"We'll do this every year if we can," she said. "It's about community. ... It takes all of us to collaborate to be able to stop the violence."
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The Rev. Joseph L. Owens of Shiloh Baptist Church said the shooting at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was an attempt "to silence their voices."
"We're out here walking to make sure that their voices are not silenced," he said. "We want justice for everyone, regardless of their race, creed, color, religious preference."
The walkers, who numbered several dozen, began and ended their march at Duncan Park. They greeted friends and neighbors on porches as they marched through the neighborhood.
Ella Faulkner gave an exuberant wave as they passed by her yard.
"I didn't know this was going on," she said. "If I did, I'd be walking with them."
She said the anti-violence message is one she strongly believes in. "We don't tolerate that," she said. "God will prevail."
The next two peace walks are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. July 11 and Aug. 8 at Duncan Park.