NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — The Waylyn community in North Charleston has seen several instances gun violence and now, activist organizations like Stand As One, The United Front of Charleston, and the Waylyn Heart Community want to an end to the violence.
“Gun violence is a problem in America. A serious problem. It’s an epidemic,” said Pastor Thomas Dixon, a Charleston activist. “So we march. So we proclaim…ending gun violence.”
Before and after the group marched around the Waylyn neighborhood, speakers shared personal notes and calls to action.
Chants of ‘Black lives are powerful’ rang through the air bringing out many from their homes in the Waylyn neighborhood to show their support.
The group also marched to honor those who have been hurt or lost their lives to gun violence.
One participant, Lane Cogdill, has been a part of the black lives matter movement since Freddie Gray was killed in Baltimore in 2015.
“As a teacher of Black children, it just always scares me that one day it could be one of my kids,” said Cogdill. “So I just feel a responsibility to make the world a better place for them.”
This march takes place the day after a demonstration in downtown Charleston led to several arrests.
Pastor Thomas Dixon said the Charleston Police Department could have handled the situation differently.
“We feel as though the law enforcement agencies present did everything possible to exacerbate the situation as opposed to mitigating and de-escalating it,” said Dixon.
News 2 reached out to CPD about these concerns from protesters. They did not want to comment and instead referred back to a press release sent out after Saturday nights demonstration.
That statement says in part:
“They refused officers directions, impeded vehicle traffic by marching in the roadway, and assaulted an officer, which then led to concerns over the safety of citizens and motorists in the area.”Charleston Police Department
Sunday’s event ended with speakers calling on youth to get involved to help shape the future they want to see.