MEGAN SHERMAN, TRNN: It was a protest with a different theme, in the city that has witnessed widespread public displays of anger over aggressive policing and entrenched poverty. A small group of determined residents gathered amidst the rainy Wednesday night in the Upton area of West Baltimore to call attention to the violence which has engulfed the city this year.
RAY KELLY: We raise [up souls] in the darkness of addiction, illegal activity and violence. For those who have lost their lives on our streets and for those who still mourn and seek justice. And so may we be merciful and patient and gracious and trusting, and be true instruments of your peace. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.
SHERMAN: They came together to make a statement about their collective unease over a historic surge in homicides. The most recent victim, a 33-year-old man, shot the day of the march less than a mile away from the church where it started.
Marlene of the No Boundaries Coalition says that more must be done to deter crime.
MARLENE BROWN: I think that the people in the community need to keep this up to maybe get the message to the people in our community to stop the violence. This is continuing, and if all of us and the churches get together and keep this as an ongoing march, hopefully we’ll make a dent at least in some of this violence in our neighborhood.
SHERMAN: Many believe that heightened tensions over police brutality has strained the city’s ability to quell gun violence. But as the jury selection process continues this week for the trial of William Porter, one of six officers charged in relationship to Freddie Gray’s death in April of this year, participants say more work needs to be done to address the relationship between communities and police.
BROWN: I think we need to continue to talk to the community members, keep up our vigilance on our police department to see if we can get them up and running with a community policing plan, which we have been promised by the police commissioner. And if we could do at least that much I think you’ll start seeing some difference.
SHERMAN: This is Megan Sherman reporting with the Real News Network.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.