NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Community groups say there needs to a new strategy to address gun violence in New York City.
They took that message across three boroughs, and marched more than 31 miles.READ MORE: Mayor De Blasio Issues Vaccine Mandate For All New York City Municipal Workers, Including First Responders
CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports on what they said needs to change.
With more than 1,200 shootings and nearly 1,500 victims so far this year, gun violence is on the rise in New York City, but you don’t have to tell that to the group of community activists on the front line of the crisis.
“If you start with ‘criminal,’ justice is not possible. But when you start with ‘human,’ all things are possible,” said community activist Dr. Divine Pryor.
They call their approach “human justice” – that seeks to get to the root of the problems in communities, and not just address the symptoms. The goal is not to center solutions entirely around police.
“It’s a disadvantage to law enforcement. They’re not equipped to handle all of the issues. Secondly, the people, again, are the solution. So we know how to deal with some of those challenges in our community. We need to be empowered more to do that,” said Community Capacity Development founder K Bain.READ MORE: Employee Stabbed To Death At East Harlem Deli
Challenges like affordable housing, food insecurity, education, and health care. All systemic issues, activists say, that have turned their requests into demands.
“Nobody wants the crime to drop more than the people who live in these communities, and who work in these communities, and who go to the funerals you never go to,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
The urgency of that message was taken from Brooklyn to Manhattan and Queens.
“To take away my humanity is to take away yours,” one person said.
Beyond the statistics are real lives that remain the most vulnerable.MORE NEWS: Viral Video Shows Unmasked NYPD Officer Pushing Masked Commuter Out Of Subway Station
Community activists are calling on lawmakers to provide more funding for community based organizations, while also asking similar groups to come together.