Hundreds take to streets to curb violence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hundreds take to streets to curb violence

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by Bryan Goettel

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - The sheer numbers alone were telling.

"I would never have thought we'd have this many people come out tonight," Cedar Rapids chief of police Greg Graham said.

Tired of the violence in the Wellington Heights neighborhood of Cedar Rapids, more than 500 people are hoping to walk it off.

"This many people caring about what happens in our neighborhoods," Cedar Rapids Mayor Kay Halloran said. "I think it's wonderful."

"All the people here today want it to change so it's really a blessing," Wellington Heights resident Avery Cassell said.

They gathered first for food and music. Then, by the hundreds they took to the streets of the very neighborhood they want to change.

"We've all got to get together and stand up and say, you know what, no more," Graham said. "We're not going to put up with this anymore."

"I've lived here all my life in Cedar Rapids and on this neighborhood and I used to be able to walk these streets," Wellington Heights resident Diane Hansen said.

Sprained ankle and all, Hansen was determined to walk all twenty blocks.

"It's gonna show 'em, show the people that are on the other side of the law that we're all watching," Hansen said.

And many did take notice from their yards and porches.

"No more violence, no more!" chanted some young girls watching along the route.

It's not the cure. But nearly everyone there agreed the walk is another important step.

"The watch word is persistence," Halloran said. "We have to keep it up."

"It's time for a stop," Hansen said. "It's time for a change. And we're gonna change it."

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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