DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver neighborhood devastated by gang violence gathered together on Wednesday afternoon to take a stand.
Councilman Albus Brooks organized the peace rally at George Morrison Sr. Park off Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard after a deadly weekend. The goal is to send a message to criminals that enough is enough.READ MORE: Family Thanks Parker Police Officer 23 Years After He Saved Little Girl’s Life
“You will not hold us hostage in our own neighborhood. We’re going to live right now and we’re going to be strong and we’re going to be leaders,” said Brooks.
The rally took place across the street from the church where 22-year-old Nolan Ware was gunned down Saturday outside his uncle’s funeral.
His cousin Makia Peevy had been standing by his side when she said gang members started to taunt him.
“Don’t get smoked like we did your uncle. That’s taunting, then the next thing you know my cousin gets killed,” she said.
After the rally, a crowd of around 200 people marched with police in solidarity through the Cole neighborhood.READ MORE: Victims Identified In Colorado Springs Mass Shooting At Birthday Party
Denver police chief Robert White attended the rally. He says that in order to fight crime, officers have to be a part of the community and need to be allowed to do their jobs.
“Part of what you see in Baltimore, you see in a lot of cities, and we have some of those challenges here. Also there are communities that are disconnected with the police department,” White said.
Several long-time residents, living in the neighborhood 30 years or more, said they have never seen the gang violence this high.
Peevy said, for her family, it’s too little too late.
“I do appreciate the support of the community, it’s just kind of too late.”
A $7,000 reward has been offered for the killer of Ware. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers.
Additional Information From The Denver Police DepartmentMORE NEWS: Aurora Reports 7 Suicide Attempts Among Young People In Less Than A Week
Anyone with information is asked to call Denver police at (720) 913-2000. Remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867). Text to CRIMES (274637) then title DMCS and enter the message or send an e-mail to metro-denvercrimestoppers.com.