MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) — A march calling for an end to violence took place in Miami Gardens Saturday.
Miami Gardens resident told CBS4’s MaryAnn Martinez that they’re sick of shootings and gun violence.
Police had friendly conversations with members of the community.
Many residents mentioned that they don’t want to see interaction with police turn into what has been seen recently in Ferguson, Missouri.
In Ferguson, tempers have flared over the deadly shooting on Michael Brown, an un-armed African American teenager by a police officer.
“We know that there are some issues that we need to address with our young people, (like) helping them to be able to handle themselves and avoid confrontations,” said Pastor Roger Adams of Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church. “We don’t want Ferguson, Missouri to be here.”
Adams organized Saturday’s call for action.
“We’ve had some crime issues in Miami Gardens, but what we are really trying to do is rally the community together to help everyone understand standing against violence is our responsibility,” Adams added.
He said crimes, like the shooting death of Zamari Pierre Louis are unacceptable.
Police said the 16-year-old was gunned down in someone’s front lawn in January.
Also that month, a man was shot in his own back-yard, according to crime investigators.
In March, Miami Garden police said a pregnant Qualecia James was shot to death while sitting in a car.
The 21-year-old’s baby was delivered, but died just days later in the hospital.
James’ aunt said the community would be better if people got rid of the stigma of being a “snitch.”
“If we see things going on, shootings or know guns are in people’s houses, (you should) start reporting it,” Cynthia Brown said.
Adams said the media also plays a role.
They said covering a positive event, instead of just shootings, is another way of letting criminals know their neighbors will not stand for violence.
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