JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Music played as food was served at Bottom Gardens Saturday throughout the community’s ‘Stop the Violence’ block party.
“Stop causing trouble, stop cursing, stop shooting at folk and stop being mean," said Winter, one of the dozens of children at the event.
Pastor Johnny Addison of Rosemont MB Church and other community leaders encouraged others to meet their neighbors at the block party.
“We trying to get a feel of who’s in our community and then get the people to start addressing how we can handle this in and out of these people that don’t mean us any good,” said Addison.
Many residents took their concerns to the stage; one of which was a relative of the late 16 year-old Jalesia Everett who was killed in a drive by shooting on Larchmont Drive in May.
“It’s really terrible that so many young people are dying these days. It’s just really sad, especially the gun violence and the violence, period,” said Gabriel Parker, one of the neighborhood’s younger residents.
Signs hand made by children were on display as well.
“Some of the signs say stop killing and stop gun violence", said Winter.
Between the moments of fun, residents say they recognize that their connected effort can keep that fun and peace going.
“... you need everybody to come together to stop crime,” said Parker.
“I gotta do my part as part of the community, my neighbor next door gotta do their part as a community, then we got the public officials -- got to do their part and so, it’s a connected effort,” said Pastor Addison.
The pastor said they will continue to host block parties throughout the summer, reaching out to different blocks and neighbors each time.