In a sign of unity against the growing gun violence in the Bronx and across the city at large, Councilman Fernando Cabrera, the 52nd Precinct Council and Good Shepherd Services’ B.R.A.G. (Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence) held a community march against gun violence on Sept. 25.
The march began at Began Bedford Park Boulevard and Bainbridge Avenue and made stops at E. 199 Street and Briggs Avenue, E. 196 Street and Valentine Avenue and E. 196 Street and Morris Avenue before finishing at St. James Park. Each location represented an area where gun violence has occurred recently.
“We’re here because I believe everyone is tired of the violence in our community,” said 52nd Precinct Council President Brenda Caldwell-Paris.
She praised Cabrera, the cops and organizations like B.R.A.G. for being there for the community.
B.R.A.G., one of the largest youth services providers in NYC, promotes safer streets by mobilizing young people ages 16 to 25 against gun violence using credible messengers and an evidence‐based, anti‐violence model.
Senior Program Director David Caba said like Caldwell-Paris, he was getting sick of the non stop shootings. He and his colleagues are out Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. trying to solve conflicts with peace.
“This is a community effort, we’re just one part,” Caba said.
Councilman Cabrera, who in his younger years lived in Los Angeles when the violence was bad, told Bronxites he did not want the borough to resemble the L.A. of the 80s and 90s.
As co-chair of the City Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, Cabrera has provided more than $15 million to end gun violence, including the initial funding for Cure Violence in the five boroughs; $4.1 million for police security cameras; $2.25 million for B.R.A.G. and much more.
“We have had tremendous success with the Cure Violence program, having several years with close to zero gun violence incidents in my district,” he said. “We’ve come too far to go back to the dark days of the past. As the name ‘B.R.A.G.’ states, the Bronx will rise against gun violence again and we will win.”
Both District Attorney Darcel Clark and 52nd Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Thomas Alps stressed that the community must not only stop killing each other, but they also need to work with law enforcement and not take things into their own hands.
“The officers can’t do it alone,” Alps said.
Clark praised everyone that was there and said she has been marching all summer. Whether it is a 17-year-old basketball player getting killed or an 18-year-old being burnt alive, she said that the violence must end.
“We are killing ourselves and we have to do more,” Clark said. “We have to hold people accountable.”