Just hours after a man was injured in a shooting on North Limestone Street, a crowd of about 220 marchers gathered at Duncan Park to stand up to the recent violence that has plagued the city.
Lexington police Sgt. Rahsaan Berry's "We Care" initiative and Anita Franklin, the mother of shooting victim Antonio Franklin, are hosting the We Care Peace Walks. Saturday's walk, the second of four, focused on the children of the community.
"Make sure they are protected," prayed Pastor Joseph Owens of Shiloh Baptist Church. "Make sure they have longevity on this earth."
Flanked by police cruisers and a car playing the song Happy, the walkers, with the children in the lead, made their way through the neighborhood as people came onto their porches to join them or watch them pass.
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Smiles and greetings were exchanged all along the way, but in a few instances the walkers were met with stony expressions. Later, Berry said he thought those looks meant: "Are you really for real?"
"We want to give them hope," he said. "People are scared of the unknown."
Among the marchers were Mayor Jim Gray, Councilman Chris Ford, state Sen. Reggie Thomas and Sheriff Kathy Witt, as well as contingents from the police department, sheriff's department and local churches.
Several organizations, such as Black Wall Street and the Catholic Action Center, distributed water and lemonade along the route.
The final two marches will begin at 6 p.m. July 26 and Aug. 2 at Duncan Park. Next Saturday's march will focus on government officials and organizations.
Five people have died in shootings since June 11, and a number of others have been injured. The most recent was at 2:34 p.m. Saturday, on the 600 block of North Limestone, near Alabama Avenue. Police Lt. Jesse Harris said the victim told officers that a man to whom he had given a ride shot him once in the shoulder. Harris said the wound was not thought to be life-threatening.