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Peace leaders call for community to speak up and end gang violence

Fri, August 26, 2016 1:53 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)

 BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Peace leaders holding a rally are making a plea to the community – asking them to join together to stop gang violence.

A handful of anti-violence group leaders came together with some people from the East Side Buffalo neighborhood where an 8-year-old was visiting when he was shot, asking to end city gang violence.

This rally happened near the spot where Donnell Bibbes was shot and critically injured around 10 p.m. Thursday night.

Police believe the shooting is gang related and they say no one is talking about what happened.  Community leaders are expressing their frustrations today, saying people know what happened and have information but are fearful to say anything.  These leaders say not reporting this information is enabling the violence to continue.

“We’re tying law enforcement’s hands,” said Pastor James Giles, the leader of the Buffalo Peacemakers. “They need community cooperation to solve these crimes. We’re telling the characters that do this, that live in our neighborhoods, we’re saying to them ‘We got your back– even though you went there and almost killed a boy 8 years old, you can come here and protect you.’ That is bothering me and bothers all these community representatives here today. That is so disturbing that you think you can hide under neighborhoods. What were concerned with is making it stop.”

The leaders are hoping to make it stop by being more present in different communities and say they’ll lay their lives on the line if it means stopping violence in the city.  Those efforts are starting Saturday at 1 p.m. when they’re holding a march for peace.  City residents are encouraged to meet at 1423 Fillmore Avenue.

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