Marching Against Violence

Violence has affected many areas throughout Lexington in 2014 and it seems to be something that affects all of our lives. We’ve heard about it on the news, we might have see it outside our homes and we could’ve even be a victim to it.

"It’s very sad, very sad to see that,” 75-year Lexington resident Jane Friedman said.

But one mother of a murder victim is doing something about it.

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“I often get asked how can I stand in front of the camera and in front of Lexington and not be crying,” said Anita Franklin. “It gives me strength."

After Franklin lost her son, Antonio Franklin Jr., to gun violence in spring 2014, she has been leading to the pack to organize peace walks throughout Lexington, all in an effort to take back the streets from violence.

"We think Lexington needs to know that we’ve not forgotten everything that is going on,” Franklin said. “We want our youth to know that we’ve not forgotten them."

Sunday marked the fifth walk of the year and just like previous walks, the group met in Duncan Park. The area the Franklin lost her son and one of the areas hit hardest by gun violence in 2014.

An empty coffin sat in the middle of the park. Franklin said it is a symbol of where the violence can end.

"That’s the end result of the violence and we have to stop it,” Friedman said. We have to stop the violence."

"We need to teach our children three things,” Franklin said. “We need to teach them cap and gown for education, a jumpsuit for jail or prison and the casket symbolizes death. “

Franklin said she is going to continue these peace walks, all as a reminder to the community that violence is never the answer.