Students take to the streets for International Day of Peace

Wynton Yates talks about a local peace march promoting positive interactions between police and the public.

NEW ORLEANS -- Students took to the streets Wednesday to call for peace in our community and across the world.

Renell Martin was among the nearly 200 students that marched through Mid-City on Sept. 21.

“I’m a parent, I have kids. I don’t want my kids to grow up in a world where there is so much violence," Martin said. "It’s going to be everywhere, but it’s important to know that my kids are safe, that I’m safe, that I’m able to go to the store and not be hurt by anyone or caught up in anybody’s violence."

The New Orleans Job Corps was one of 125 Job Corps organizations across the country that held peace marches to bring youth and law enforcement together today. NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison was marching with them.

“I want them to be able to be able to approach me anytime and I want them to be able to approach an officer. Strike up a conversation, ask questions, engage in a dialogue” Harrison said.

As these youth’s marched, the recent shooting of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, was on their mind as well as the shooting death of 43-year-old Keith L Scott in Charlotte North Carolina.

“I was shocked, I wanted to get involved," said job Corps participant Victoria Durant. "I was also glad that we have this today so that we could bring it out into the light."

As these youths made their voices heard, Harrison wanted them to know that in light of what’s happening across the country, he and his department want to continue working with the community.

“My heart saddens for people who lose their lives, but I’m also saddened about how people feel about law enforcement," Harrison said. "Man, this is my career, this is my life. I’ve been in it 25 years and for people to feel the way they feel about law enforcement; it affects me and I don’t want them to feel that way….so I’m doing everything I can."

And for Renell Martin, those actions show that he cares

“That means a lot to show that the police actually care and not all of them are bad people," Martin said. "It means a lot for the chief to come out and speak on their behalf and our behalf."

(© 2016 WWL)


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