Dozens march during ‘Wear Orange Survivor Walk’ for gun violence awareness
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Just after 10 Saturday morning, dozens gathered near E.152nd and St. Clair in Collinwood, rocking bright orange t-shirts, some with a message and some with a photo of a loved one, gone too soon from gun violence.
It is “Wear Orange Weekend " all over the country. the hue becoming the definition of gun violence prevention.
Michelle Bell, founder of M-PAC Cleveland, a coalition of survivors of gun violence, says this is the 4th year they’ve put on the march and the Eastside neighborhood holds significance for her personally.
“We’re doing it here because this is the street where my son’s life was taken and the owner of the store has just been phenomenal,” Bell said. “He lets us come here each year, gather in his parking lot, doesn’t charge us anything. Whenever I come over here, he always makes me cry because he really loved my son. He has my son’s picture up inside and he says this is Dre’s store, whatever you need,” said Bell.
With Cleveland Police escorts, they walked around the neighborhood, holding signs, chanting and raising awareness about what they believe is an epidemic. They marched, pausing at the Cleveland Police 5th District Headquarters.
Representatives from Crime Stoppers was there on the ground with them for the walk, giving tips and encouraging people to come forward with information that could help solve a crime.
“If it doesn’t impede the case, I’ll ask you for a picture of your loved one and we’ll go out and put that up to $5,000 reward for your loved one,” said Patricia Meehan, Crime Stopper Coordinator, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office.
“Enough is enough, we need to work this thing together which brings me to cases like my sons which are unsolved, it saddens me that we have so many and many of us that are survivor moms, don’t wish this on anybody,” said Bell.
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