MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds of people took to the streets of north Minneapolis Saturday in a march to end violence.
The annual event, now in its seventh year, gathers community members to march and have a meal together to work towards peace.READ MORE: Minnesota Judge Wilhelmina Wright Among Possible Top Supreme Court Contenders
Saturday’s march visited several areas of the city where victims of violence have lost their lives in recent weeks. Several family members of the victims were also on hand.
The most recent shooting claimed the life of 58-year-old grandmother Birdell Beeks, who was hit and killed by a stray bullet while driving through north Minneapolis with her granddaughter last week.
“I want my mom, I miss my mom,” Sa’Lesha Beeks, Birdell’s daughter, said. “I want the people responsible to be caught.”
Hundreds showed their support at Beeks’ memorial near Penn and 21st avenues, wearing shirts with the names and ages of victims who have lost their lives from violence in the area.READ MORE: ‘That’s Not Real’: Nonprofits Express Disbelief, Frustration, Concern Over Alleged $200M Fraud By ‘Feeding Our Family’
City leaders — including Police Chief Janeé Harteau, Council Member Don Samuels and former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak — also took part in the march.
Sa’Lesha Beeks told WCCO she moved out of north Minneapolis to avoid the violence that ultimately claimed her mother’s life.
“Definitely angry. My mom has come through so much. She was battling cancer right now, and for her to be taken so violently is not acceptable,” Beeks said. “I need the city and these people in the community to do something about it. You hear something? Say something.”
Several speakers addressed the crowd throughout the march, and many said they felt it was the responsibility of the community to step up and take action.
According to Minneapolis Police Department crime statistics, there were 126 victims injured in shootings in Minneapolis from Jan. 1 to May 31 this year. Of those victims, 106 of them were in north Minneapolis.MORE NEWS: Man Charged In Connection To Shooting At St. Paul Gas Station
The MPD will be adding 12 additional officers to be assigned to the 4th Precinct in north Minneapolis to help combat crime. That initiative starts June 12.