LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Side by side, the John Barrow community came together Saturday to promote peace as they remember loved ones who have passed away because of violence.
Jackie Smith has lost a loved one to violence.
“In a drive-by an interaction, he was shot and killed,” Smith said.
Jackie Smith lost her godson, Trammell Shelton to violence.
“It’s not the same, it’s never going to be the same without him,” Smith said.
Shelton was a big part of the community and now they’re honoring him and others by spreading the message to stop the violence.
“This is what we do, and this is how we give back, and everybody here, and this is what we’re standing for,” Smith said.
With bouncy houses and t-shirts, as well as encouraging community members and police to interact, Smith says this is a positive event showing unity within the community.
Nigel Caffey who lives in the area, said that the event was about being neighborly.
“It’s been a lot of loved ones lost, but we here with family friends and loved ones, enjoying this day,” Caffey said.
And that this is just the start of ways they’re hoping to end violence.
“We are in talks of doing different things of getting police in the community kind of working together, and interacting together,” Caffey said.
Andrea Lewis, the City Director for Ward 6, says that the event is also about building positive relationships.
“So, we can come together so when a tragedy happens, we’re feeling it just like you’re feeling it, when there’s a celebration going on, we all want to celebrate together,” Lewis said.
While remembering her godson, Smith says this is a day he would’ve wanted as she says it shows positivity within their neighborhood.
“It’s a day of peace, happiness, love, interactions with each other and family,” Smith said.
They say they’re looking forward to the future. As they are working toward more days dedicated to community members interacting with city leaders and law enforcement, all while spreading the message of stop the violence.