SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Residents in South L.A. who are tired of gun violence on their streets teamed up with the Los Angeles Police Dept. and the L.A. County Sheriff to help remember some of their loved ones felled by firearms.
The group shut down a corner of Manchester and Vermont avenues with shoes that once belonged to the fallen.
Barbara Pritchett brought two pairs of shoes to the rally called “They Used To Walk Among Us” Friday, one for each of her sons killed.
“We’re tired. Us, as mothers, we choose life for our children” Pritchett told CBS2 News. “I just wanted the community to hear and see.[…] It’s all about saying something. A lot of people [are] afraid to say anything. For what reason? I don’t ever understand, because if we don’t ever get the closure to it, how are we gonna be able to stop the violence?”
The killers of Pritchett’s sons were eventually caught thanks to the help of tipsters, a practice police were trying to make salient.
“Somebody who comes forward as a witness may be a hero when you look at what they do to overcome […] the fear factor — to hold somebody accountable for taking someone else’s life senselessly,” L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell to CBS2 News.
“The accounts that we’ve heard tonight is how many people were senselessly killed over a pair of shoes, over a cross look, over a neighborhood,” said new LAPD Chief Michel Moore. “These men and women, they go out every day. They stand the difference between life and death for too many, and tonight we’re here to stand with out communities, to say we care.”
The event was sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gipson of Carson.