LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - For more than five decades, a Little Rock group has put out crosses representing the victims of homicide. But, this year, its doing something different. This comes in response to the spike in violence we saw in 2017.
At the beginning of the year, the group picks up the crosses and starts over, but this year they are leaving those crosses up a bit longer to show the more than 50 people who were lost to violence in 2017.
On the very first day of 2018, Earnest Franklin, Derotha Webb McIntosh, and others brave the cold to send a message.
"This violent thing that has been going on has went too far," Franklin said.
They hope for less homicides and more peace in the next 12 months.
"We want to do something this year to try to minimize the crime in the city," Franklin said.
Crosses, found at the corner of Daisy Bates and MLK Drive in Little Rock, are more than just wood nailed together. They represent the 53 people who died from homicide.
"We've had a large, large number of homicides that have occurred this year," Webb McIntosh said.
Each time there's a death, they put in another cross
"It saddens me to put a cross down," Webb McIntosh said.
In years past, they would pick up the crosses and start the new year off with a clean plot of land, but not this year.
They are going to leave them up for two more weeks until Martin Luther King, Junior day.
"We wanted the people in the marade, as they pass by, to see the actual marking of the homicides in the city," Franklin said.
They did a balloon release remembering the lost lives. The group hopes keeping the representation will curb violence as we go into 2018.
"We want to bring the numbers down this coming year. We don't want any at all. By all means, it's going to take all of us to take part," Webb McIntosh said.
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