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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Dozens of parents spent the first day into the New Year once again calling for an end to violence, especially following the deaths of children.
This is the first time Omorose Butler marched in a City of Miami neighborhood. She joined the group echoing messages like “let our children live” and “know something, do something”.
“I’m still in denial, I think I really have not accepted that my son has been murdered,” Butler said.
Her son, Mendel Butler-Level, was shot and killed back in July just a day after he celebrated turning 17.
“Seeing everyone here gives me strength because I ask myself everyday ‘how am I going to make it?’,”
She joined the Florida Parents of Murdered Kids for its third gathering. The group first met at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church and then marched to a park across the street from the City of Miami Police North Substation. While at the park, parents lit candles in honor of each victim.
Mendel was killed outside an apartment complex. He was shot along with two others. While his mother is now trying to prevent any other parent from losing a child, she is still trying to find who’s responsible for her son’s murder.
“That’s really tough to deal with especially growing up in a community such as Miramar,” Butler said.
She talked to CBS 4 while holding a portrait of her son. Other parents held pictures. Some made tributes on shirts and other held signs with messages like “stop the gun violence”.
One mother couldn’t agree more with that message.
“They have to do better. There’s no coming back from this. My son’s not coming back,” Butler said.
There were also police officers walking with parents along with local leaders.
One community activist told the crowd, he believes one way to curb violence is through getting more men involved in the community. He’s planning to have a similar march on Father’s Day as a push to get more men involved to prevent troubled teens from staying on the same path.