'Stop the Violence' march raises awareness

Though the flooding situation in various parts of Crowley may have thinned the crowd, their message was heard loud and clear as a group of West Crowley residents marched up Hutchinson Ave. to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center singing hymns, reciting prayers and shouting phrases such as 'Stop the Violence. Stop the Guns."

The march was organized by Rev. Charles Banks from Lafayette who came to Crowley recently and noticed that the city, as do most these days, has an obvious problem.

During the past few months, the number of shootings has dramatically escalated and it was obvious that the citizens who live in the area where the violence had taken place had enough.

Along with Rev. Banks, a Little Rock, Ark. native who used to belong to the notorious street gang The Crips before turning his life around during his second prison sentence, local church leaders Bishop Louis Dugar and Pastor Brian Minix helped lead the way to the Martin Luther King Center as did Crowley Alderman Vernon 'Step' Martin.

Upon arrival Mayor Greg Jones, who has been busy the past few days due to the flooding which has brought parts of town to a standstill, made time to speak to those in attendance.

"I look out there and I see some young people that I hope are here because they know that drugs and violence are a wrong way street," he said. "Drug dealers don't have a retirement plan.

"In fact it is my hope that one day one of you will be standing where I am right now and delivering the same message that I am delivering to you."

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