FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – In an event held at City Hall, families and community members urged city leaders to listen and take action in light of the recent spike in violence in Fresno.
The event was organized by Take A Stand Committee and Save Our Children.
“We need investment in our poverty communities. We need investment in our mentorship programs. We need counseling,” said Kina McFadden, a board member with Take A Stand Committee.
Families of those who have lost loved ones recently and in the last couple of years spoke on their grief and demanded justice.
“For them to hear those personal stories from these families and the similarities about these murders going unsolved and the concern and the anguish in these families faces, I think speaks volumes,” said Rodney Murphy, president of the Take A Stand Committee board.
According to the Fresno Police Department, there have been 564 shootings in the city of Fresno just this year so far — that’s more than double the shootings in all of 2019 in Fresno. There were 275 shootings in 2019 in Fresno.
Mayor-elect and former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer made a series of commitments as to what he will do when he takes office in a little more than two months.
He said he will:
- Bring the office for the mayor’s gang prevention initiative into the mayor’s office
- Create a non-profit mayor’s foundation for at-risk youth
- Open up Camp Fresno for rival gang members in order to unite
- Open up parks & recreation in the evening and on weekends
“We need to support our police. We need to invest in our youth. We need to invest in our families and we need to invest in our neighborhoods,” Dyer said.
Cheryl Sumler is the founder of Take A Stand and lost her granddaughter to violence in 2017. She knows the pain families who recently lost their loved ones to violence all too well.
“I know their hurt, their cry and anger so we have to give them a platform and speak to show their hurt,” Sumler said.