DENVER (CBS4)– Rival gangs are coming together to stop rising gun violence in Denver. Gang members, activists and concerned citizens gathered Sunday at City Park for “Heal the Hood” peace barbecue.
Lumumba Sayers, founder of the non-profit Heavy Hands Heavy Hearts, helped to organize the peaceful picnic.
“You’ve got everybody from every section, every different gang here and they’re coming together… not really worried about territories, but about unity,” Sayers told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
According to Denver Police, 67 people died in murders in 2018, the highest number since 2004.
“A lot of this stuff is because of poverty. Because of the things that they’re going through,” Sayers said. “If we all come together, then we will be able to solve some of the problems, be able to stop some of the gang violence, be able to stop some of the senseless killings.”
People wearing red and others wearing blue were among the hundreds who showed up at the event.
“(There are) Crips, Bloods, Vice Lords, Disciples,” said Terrence Brewer, a former gang member.
He stood side-by-side with former rivals who shared a common goal.
“It’s important for us to come together for the children,” Brewer said.
He hopes that the younger generation will turn to one another rather than turning to guns.
“We’re just trying to teach the kids that this is not the path that we want you to take,” he said.