Stop the violence rally in Ensley - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Stop the violence rally in Ensley

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Concerned citizens rallied against violence in Ensley. Over the weekend, police responded to several shootings.

Members of Mothers Who Want the Violence to Stop were able to get non-members to join the rally. They met in front of Westbury Apartments where police say a person was shot Friday night. There were also five other people shot in Ensley over the weekend and many concerned mothers who have lost children to violence don't want other parents to feel their pain.

In Ensley, there was gunfire this weekend at four locations. Pike road, Avenue S, The Ensley Park area and 19th Street. Police say 6 people were shot, one person critical, just a few apartments down from Valencia Oneal. The mother of two was asked to join a rally Monday outside her door. "I didn't want to get involved because it wasn't my child, but I thought about it, I thought about it a lot and like I said, God really brought me out ."

"We're tired of our children being shot down be each other, enough is enough." Wanda Erskine's son was shot and killed in 2006. "Losing my son, I'm out here fighting on the streets to save other folks children, telling them to put those weapons down."

Her group, Mothers Who Want The Violence to Stop, now brainstorming ways to increase the peace.  Young men listened to Cedric Hatcher say his. "We have a church on every corner, but we don't have preachers on every corner and if you don't come to our church, often times you can't hear."

But clearly, he was heard here and hopes this plea for change will unite families and end the violence.

Erskine says her group is talking with State Representative John Rogers about creating a bill called the George Powell Act, in memory of her son. It would require gun owners to have gun locks, especially parents. They also want to make anger management classes available for young people.

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