'Community': A tale of two Sacramento peace walks

South Sacramento, Oak Park and Del Paso Heights: Sacramento leaders cite these three communities as places that see recurring gun violence.

South Sacramento, Oak Park and Del Paso Heights: Sacramento leaders cite these three communities as places that see recurring gun violence.

The latest example was on Sunday afternoon, at South Sac's Meadowview Park, where a drive-by shooting killed one man and hurt four others.

RELATED: Sacramento leaders send message: 'Stop the Violence' 

On Friday night, in response, neighbors held two separate peace walks. They were in different communities, but they shared the same mission and message.

"I just want to say thank you because this is the solution: community," Sacramento's new police chief Daniel Hahn told a roomful of some three dozen people, gathered for the peace walk at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in the chief's childhood home of Oak Park. "This is what we need to replicate and make larger, because this is what's going to work."

The group headed for an adjacent neighborhood shortly after 6 p.m.

"This is the peace walk, and it's talking about the community response to violence," church member Patsy Rogers told ABC10 News. "We need to let people know it's not okay. There are ways to handle conflict that don't involve violence."

She also works with local young people during the summer, teaching them life skills.

"We're out tonight because we do want to keep this community safe, and we believe that to do that, we need to know each other," Rogers said. "It's one thing to just go through the community, but when you actually get out and meet people...that builds relationships."

The group met Oak Park neighbor Dawnyielle Muzyamba, who told Chief Hahn she'd like to see more after-school programs and resources for kids.

"Because you don't want to lose your children to the system and you want to make sure, you know, they be all that they can be instead of, you know, just stopping at one point and getting involved in the wrong thing," Muzyamba, who grew up in Oak Park, told ABC10. "I understand parents have to be at work, but someone has to be in these kids' lives to guide them."

Members of St. Paul Missionary Baptist church shared with her some of the program available at their community center.

Greater Sacramento Urban League president and CEO Cassandra Jennings also attended the Oak Park peace walk.

"Violence has no place in our community. This is a safe community. We want everybody to live and thrive," she said. "So we're walking, talking with neighbors, letting them know we're with them and letting them know all the services available to them."

Five miles south of Oak Park, some two dozen people gathered for South Sacramento's peace walk, from Pannell Meadowview Community Center to Meadowview Park, where Sunday's fatal shooting occurred.

"From what I see, there's only one world and we all have to live in it," Meadowview Neighborhood Association president Jesse Reese said.

"We're out here just to love on the community and to be a presence here," pastor Les Simmons said, adding that it's important "at times like this, when a traumatizing thing happened, to really offer some healing through presence and just encouraging words, and that's what we do."

More community peace walks are planned. The next one in South Sacramento is set for next Friday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. More dates and details are available HERE.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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