Victims and families gather for a Stop the Violence Rally in Augusta

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Saturday, August 24, 2019
News 12 at 11

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Victims of violence teamed up Sunday to hold a rally in Augusta. They talked about recent crime in the area and how they aim to make the community a safer place.

They gathered together at Dyess Park, holding up signs, wearing stop the violence t-shirts, and sharing their stories, trying to figure out what they could do to stop this violence in Augusta.

"Enough is enough," Garian Henry said, "I wanted to raise awareness and let everybody know that this is going on and we need to do something about it now."

Henry coordinated the rally. She also knows the pain of losing a loved one. She says her cousin and friend were both murdered.

"Stop the violence!" the crowd chanted in unity.

To stop the violence, Henry says it starts at home

"Parenting is not just a word it's action," Henry said.

Some took action at the microphone, sharing their anger.

"Why are we pointing guns at children or anybody else?" Laura Stamey asked the crowd. "I do not understand this and I will never understand it!"

Others shared their stories of survival.

"Death don't skip people like that so I mean I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones," Dubre Martin said.

Some people have the emotional scars, but Dubre Martin, 22, has the physical scars as a constant reminder.

"I was at a friend's house," Martin said. "I was asleep and woke up to him stabbing me five times."

His 17-year-old friend he trusted is now behind bars.

"That's the question I always kind of ask myself, is like why," Martin said. "We never had any problem, was never told we had a problem, it just kind of happened out of nowhere."

Now Martin is standing with others from the community spreading a message of hope.

"I've got a mission to still fulfill, I've got a purpose to still be here," Martin said. "Violence isn't the answer. It's not going to solve nothing it's just going to make things worse."

Some people even wore shirts baring the faces of their loved ones lost.

"We buried a 6-year-old child," Laura Stamey said.

Laura Stamey is still fighting for justice for her grandson, Ryder who was only six when he was shot.

"The man that shot and killed my grandchild, he can call it an accident and he can put whatever kind of word he wants in front of it, but murder is murder and I'm not going to be quiet about it," Stamey said.

Organizer says this may be the first rally in Augusta, but it won't be the last. Henry says she wants to make this rally a constant, not just yearly, but as often as possible. They're planning another rally geared toward safety just in time for Halloween. There's no set day or time scheduled for this yet, but when News 12 knows the details we will share that information.

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