"Peace Summit" addresses gang violence concerns - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

"Peace Summit" addresses gang violence concerns

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A small crowd listens to a monumental message at a peace summit Saturday about gang violence. A small crowd listens to a monumental message at a peace summit Saturday about gang violence.
The SCLC organized the summit after a string of recent gang-related crimes, including several incidents at the Montera Park Apartments seen here. The SCLC organized the summit after a string of recent gang-related crimes, including several incidents at the Montera Park Apartments seen here.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The crowd was small.  However, the message of a peace summit Saturday was monumental.

The fight against gang violence requires everyone's attention.

"I have a teenager," said Juanita Jones.

Her 16-year-old son was jumped by gang members.

"And it's real hard, you know, peer pressure," said Jones.  "And trying to make them do something they don't want to do," she added.

She hoped other parents would take a stand.

"Oh, I hope and pray parents will get more involved," said Jones.

The SCLC organized the summit after a string of recent gang-related crimes, including several incidents at the Montera Park Apartments.  That's where in May a mother was shot protecting her daughter from gang members and where a 16 year-old was shot and killed in June.

"When we went into Montera apartments for a prayer vigil eight police officers with assault rifles were walking with us like we were walking down the streets of Iraq," said SCLC President Rev. Dwight Montgomery.  "That's how terrible it is over there."

Gang members were among those invited to the summit during which an ex-gang member spoke.

"And when we continue to reach out to gang members trying to bring peace," said Montgomery.  "Then I believe we're going to have less gang violence."

Organizers said they'd rather have 10 willing workers than a large audience of people unwilling to help combat the gang problem.

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