Syracuse’s Near West Side unites against gun violence at rally
A large crowd came to Syracuse’s Skiddy Park on the Near West Side Thursday to rally against gun violence in the wake of the Father’s Day shooting that happened in the area. One man was killed and multiple guns were fired in a shootout, one by a Syracuse police officer. Police are still investigating the incident.
At times the Celebration of Unity felt like a church service, complete with gospel music and bible readings. Children pleaded with the community for peace, asking to grow up in a safe neighborhood.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner gave a powerful speech on poverty in the city acknowledging the anger within many minority communities who feel left out of economic prosperity. She asked the audience how they could all move forward after the shooting.
“For me, it starts with believing that justice is possible for everyone," Miner said. "For me it means that death is always a tragedy, that violence is not power and that silence in the aftermath of violence is not solidarity.”
Miner addressed the underlying causes of income inequality and poverty.
"I think the first way we solve them is through understanding," Miner said "The second way we do that is by saying we all have a role in solving this. I'm not surprised that there's anger, the question for us as a city and as a people is how do we move forward as a people, what do you do with that anger and how do you move forward together in a constructive way?"
Miner said she has been visiting the Near West Side neighborhood since the shooting and meeting with residents. She said she understands no one will be happy until the investigation is concluded. Syracuse Police have confirmed they plan to open a new substation in Skiddy Park.