STUTTGART, Ark. – People in the Stuttgart community came together to protest gun violence and demand action from local officials Tuesday evening.
This comes after five people have been shot and killed this year in the town.
Skye Johnston, coordinator of the protest, said, “we need something to change here…absolutely. Every time I look around I just see there’s death everywhere we go here”.
A mother whose son was one of the five killed this year said, “Think about if it was your child, your town, how would you feel”
Johnston organized the protest in front of the city prosecutor’s office and encouraged people to wear orange, representing gun violence awareness.
“Since January to August there have been five shootings here that have resulted in death,” said Johnston.
Johnston brought a sign with the victim’s names and asked family members to come up and represent each one.
A mother whose son was one of the five killed this year said, “think about if it was your child, your town, how would you feel,” and
“my baby deserves justice… right along with these four young men.”
Johnston said she hopes the actions of Tuesday night produce results from the legal system in town.
“We need to see some change, see some actions, you know see some convictions in these murders and these cases. See something being solved,” said Johnston.
City officials attended the demonstration and even shared a few words.
The County Prosecutor, Tim Blair, said in the case of the 14-year-old who was killed Saturday, some progress has been made.
“Two people have been arrested in that today,” said Blair.
Mayor, Norma Strabala made a statement on Facebook about the actions the city will be taking.
Strabala said, “—we are seeing a deliberate pattern of people not valuing life,” and “this plague of senseless violence must stop”.
The Mayor also stated that police will enforce a city curfew from 11 p.m. – 5 a.m. for those 18 and under, and is working to get youth involved in organizations in town.