North Charleston neighborhood march aims to end violence

VIDEO: North Charleston neighborhood march aims to end violence

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - After a pair of shootings in a North Charleston neighborhood just six days apart, community members are acting.

While police have already started to increase their presence in the Dorchester Waylyn subdivision, activists are asking people living in the area to police themselves.

“We just want to come in and partner with the community. We’re coming into help. We are going to do our part, and we need you to do your part and that is simply just to report crime,” said Pastor Thomas Ravenel who helped organize a march and rally. He is also the founder of Parents Against Gun Violence Charleston.

On Tuesday, a group of about 30 people marched through the neighborhood asking residents to report crime when they see it.

“Our theme is see something, say something. We can no longer close our blinds to crime,” Ravenel said. “When you see criminal activity call 911.”

This is not the first time these marches have been implemented to stop crime, especially gun violence.

In 2018, the demonstrations helped promote peace.

“This rally is exactly what we worked on in ’18, to get the community to stand up,” said North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess. “When the community says enough is enough then you can see how they get out here and do what they need to do.”

Just like in 2018, Burgess was on the streets, marching with the group.

He says he grew up in North Charleston and knows the best way to fix problems is to go to the source.

“If you look at our numbers in 2019, we walked these communities every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We didn’t have one homicide in these communities,” Burgess said.

Many people marching hope to leave an impact on the next generation and break a cycle of violence.

“It will shut down. They are the future. They are doing what they are seeing and what they are taught,” said Donnimechia Singleton who is a youth director and part of the North Charleston South Carolina Youth Resistance Incorporation. “Us as adults need to step up and lead by example.”

Ravenel says they plan to continue these marches for the next six weeks.

“We have to report crime,” Ravenel said. “If I come into this neighborhood and I see these signs, see something, say something, and I know there’s a group coming out every week then I am going to think twice about committing a crime because someone is looking out the window.”

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