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Richmond Peace Walk organizer undiscouraged: ‘I won’t give up’

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jul 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-15 18:46:36-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Just a handful of Svondai Brown's friends and Richmond Police officers arrived on time for a peace walk she organized month's ago.

"I'm a little upset because so much is going on in this community," Brown told Chief Alfred Durham in the parking lot of Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in the East End.

Brown canvassed the Mosby Court neighborhood handing out flyers days prior to her 2nd Annual Community Day Peace Walk to the Jefferson Park Peace Fountain scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham and Svondai Brown.

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham and Svondai Brown.

"The only people who supported me was a couple friends for the most part and the police department," Brown said.

There have been 36 murder victims and dozen more shootings in the City of Richmond so far in 2017.

Brown planned to walk the streets in effort to bring the community together and help stop the violence plaguing the city.

Chief Durham said the lack of attendance is evidence that residents are not taking the increase in crime seriously.

"We have a vigil and hundreds show up. Why does it take tragedy for people to show up?" Durham asked.

Brown said more than 50 people showed up to her Peace Walk in 2016 even though the day was forecasted to be hotter than Saturday.

The group decided to drive to the Jefferson Park Peace Fountain for hamburgers and to talk about solutions to preventing crime.

Peace Walk.

"If you don't want more how can you instill in your son or your daughter to want more?" Maiesha Hawkins asked one officer.

Despite the low attendance Brown said she is not giving up her fight to stop the violence.

"I definitely will not give up," she confidently said. "I won't give up. I won't stop here and this is just one little bump in the road."