Memorial tree inspires peace in a Waterloo neighborhood - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Memorial tree inspires peace in a Waterloo neighborhood

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Family and friends of some Waterloo murder victims are banding together to end decades of violence. Neighbors in the Gates Park area gathered to dedicate The Oak Tree of Peace and Love.

Organizers say they chose the park because it has been the site of past violence -- and several murders. They hope the tree will remind others of the violence that's taken place and encourage them to continue fighting for peace.

"Don't get mad when the concerned citizens start dialing tip lines and hotlines and get some of you incorrigibles locked up. Because that's what's about to happen. So don't say you didn't get warned," said Willie Johnson, father of Martavious Johnson -- a Waterloo teen shot and killed in January.

Organizers of the group are planning to install a plaque which includes all of Waterloo's murder victims names. They'd also like to add benches in the future.

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