Dozens attend rally to stop violence in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

The Fresno Police Department recently ramped up its efforts to stop violent crime with an operation targeting gang members. Extra officers hit the streets after responding to 30 shootings in 28 days.

The organization Faith in Community says the violence is not just affecting one area of Fresno, but the entire community. Dozens of residents from across the community gathered in Downtown Fresno on Sunday, united under one cause: to stop the violence in Fresno.

"Thirty shootings in 28 days is not OK. Sixteen victims of those 30 is not OK. Then six people dying because of gunshots is just not OK for any community," said Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Booker T. Lewis II.

Earlier in March and April, Fresno police dealt with a spike of shootings. Janee Tatum's murder at the Crossroads bar was one of those violent acts.

At the "Stop the Violence" event, pastors and community advocates urged people across the city to put down their guns and stop firing. They also encouraged everyday citizens to become part of the change by getting out on walk nights and visiting with community members.

"If I can go out and talk to one young man and get him to change his mind, maybe get away from the violence, or take another look at life that there is another way," said Darryl Miller, a community advocate.

The event also took time to remember the lives lost. One woman, who did not want to be identified, told Action News that she is still troubled by the loss of a friend in a drive-by shooting.

"It hurts the families, it hurts everybody that's left behind. It's not only the person that was killed, but it impacts everybody else that loved that one person," the woman said.

It's a pain felt by others who are now united in one cause against violence.

The Fresno Police Department's recent crackdown sent more than 100 officers out on the streets, and authorities say it had a dramatic impact on violent crime in the city last week. Meanwhile, Faith in Community says it is continuing with the walk nights in the city.

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