MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Monday marked another night of gun violence across the Twin Cities. It’s bringing hundreds together to protest the shootings.
A group is gathering outside Shiloh International Ministries on West Broadway Tuesday night. They’re planning to march to the scene where a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed Monday evening.
Her death brings the number of homicides in Minneapolis to 50. WCCO’s Reg Chapman spoke to people in the community who are fighting to stop the violence.
“When will you value life?” Bunny Beeks asked.
Families of victims of gun violence re-live the pain of losing their loved one every time another person is shot and killed in the community.
“None of us are safe, my Mom wasn’t safe — she wasn’t involved in any of the gun violence that happens in the city,” Beeks said.
Her mother, Burdell Beeks, was gunned down while waiting at a stop sign in north Minneapolis. Bunny Beeks is now the voice of the voiceless when it comes to speaking out against gun violence.
“You’re arguing about this community gun violence when yet and still these people are killing us, we’re killing us, “ Beeks said.
Beeks would like to see outrage over community gun violence match the reaction many have when police shoot and kill Black men.
“I fight for both sides. There should not be police brutality but if we are going to fight we need to fight for both sides. If Black lives matter, Black lives should matter all the time,” Beeks said.
“I think we need to change some things in our system,” Thomas Dixon said. “We need to change some things in our community and we need to get out here and do what’s right because we’re going to leave this generation nothing, man we going leave them nothing but a messed up situation.”
Thomas Dixon, a former gang member, is working with groups like We Push For Peace, A Mother’s Love and others to get the young people behind the gun violence to stop.
“It’s sad we’re getting older now, there is a new generation that is coming up that is being left behind, we can be teaching these young men and women what to do and how to do it but we don’t have the resources,” Dixon said.
Both Dixon and Beeks say for decades the ask for funding has been met with an inadequate financial response.
“Twenty years later we’re still doing this,” Dixon said. “Can we get some help, can we get some support, 20 years later our kids are still dying, 20 years later there are kids are growing up killing kids.”
Beeks and Dixon say its time to take the community back the right way and that starts at home. They want people to speak up or ask for community help if they know someone who has a gun that shouldn’t.