Toledo Gang Members, Pastors Declare "No Murder December"

Toledo Gang Members, Pastors Declare "No Murder December"

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - This year there have been 37 murders in Toledo and there more people shot this week.

Now some former gang members are forming a partnership with Toledo pastors and city leaders.

Wednesday night they had a rallying cry for our neighborhoods as community leaders, and even former gang members, declare December as"Cease fire and No murder month."

"Nothing changes if nothing changes," said Rev. Shawn Mahone at the press conference. "So we can't sit behind the desk and expect results. Now we have to step out into the battlefield and demand results."

The motivation for this rally? The young lives cut short this year by gun violence like 16-year-old Todd Davis and 20-year-old De'Asia Wallace.

The Senior Minister of Greater New Psalmist Church hosted the event. He said there's often a rallying cry after a murder like De'Asia's, but then it dies off. And he says he wants momentum.

"It's like taking a life is nothing anymore, it's like taking your necklace off," said Bishop Hall. "And we've got to change that."

Darnell "Jawbone" Frazier, someone who knows what it's like to be a part of the gang lifestyle, was there to support the effort.

"I've got a lot of little cousins, nephews locked up right now. They're 18, just turning 18 and 19 I've been trying to touch," said Frazier. "So it's something bigger. We've got to come together."

And he said  churches like New Psalmist Church and his friends in the neighborhood can open their doors for others to have a safe place to go and stay away from violence.

"That's what we're trying to have with this cease-fire. Playing your part, being away from where that might happen at," said Frazier. "That's your part in helping the cease-fire. You're not around it, that ain't hard."

They're using the hashtag #NoMurderDecemberToledo to get the word out. A campaign to slow down the violence, until it can hopefully come to an end.

And the hope is by reaching out, another parent won't have to suffer the anguish of losing their son or daughter.

"You've got to make some type of connection to those that are involved in some of these hideous crimes," said Bishop Hall. "And say let's put it down. Let's stop."

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2017 WTOL. All rights reserved.