Decry Gang, Gun Violence in NYC
By David Greene
NEW YORK– A handful of elected officials, clergy leaders and anti violence advocates joined residents of the Castle Hill community as Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark led a “Silent Peace March” through the streets of Castle Hill– in a show of unity against violence.
Marchers were asked to wear white, the color that represents peace.
Before the march, Councilman Ruben Diaz, Sr., who represents the Castle Hill area, said, “Today the district attorney Darcel Clark has invited us to walk with her in a peaceful march in support of anti-crime and I think its a great thing.”
Speaking for the crime and violence plagued communities of Soundview and Castle Hill, Diaz continued, “We need all the help we can get and I appreciate that she’s doing this.
“We did one here two week’s ago with the reverend and now with the district attorney involved, its even better.”
With anti-violence organizations in the Mott Haven and Williamsbridge sections, Diaz was asked why these groups can’t come together to help build momentum for the movement, he replied, “Yeah, but everybody wants to be the boss.”
Moments before the crowd stepped in the street, which was shutdown by members of the NYPD, Clark told the crowd, “Thank you all for coming out in unity for peace.
“We are about to kick off the march, which is going to be silent, but is going to be powerful because so many of us are here for one thing and one thing only.”
Clark continued, “To let those people know that are armed in our community, that we, the community stand united against the violence. This is our community and they don’t belong here.”
Pastor Jay Gooding who runs the Stand Up to Violence program based out of Jacobi Hospital, added, “Too much blood is being shed in our streets and so tonight we pray for peace. We pray for our district attorney having this march tonight.”
One Castle Hill resident waiting for a haircut and shave at a Castle Hill Avenue barbershop, was waiting out side with several other men as they watched the march pass by.
The resident, who declined to use his name for this story, said of the silent march, “I think it’s something that’s needed in the Bronx. I think it’s very important that they all come together as one community and definitely support the three innocent bystanders who were shot.”
The resident explained, “It brings unity and I think it will bring change if you can bring more people on board to start to believe it can change, it will.”
The resident also stated that it is not only the NYPD who needs to be in the fight against illegal guns, he concluded, “It’s not only the NYPD who’s responsible for getting guns off the street, I think the people also play a part. Its not just one entity that can help us keep the violence down.”
In the latest statistics, as of July 29 there were 8 reported homicides in the confines of the 43rd Precinct, compared with 6 for the same time period in 2017. However, the number of shootings and the number of shooting victims was down overall.