Local project creates powerful message to combat violence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local project creates powerful message to combat violence

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Three people are recovering from gunshot wounds following a violent weekend in Waterloo.

Sunday morning two people were shot, one in the 2700 block of East Fourth Street and the other in the 800 block of Beech Street. Then, later that night another person was shot in the 100 block of Western Avenue.

Less than 24 hours later, a woman ran into a Waterloo Dollar General asking for help, after being stabbed. 

These are examples of the violence local leaders are trying to stop with a video series that is sending a powerful message.

Project Pause Waterloo released a video detailing the split-second decision one young man makes to shoot another man. The video goes on to show the young man's arrest, booking, sentencing, and a life behind bars.

It then rewinds to the moment before the shooting and shows a different outcome had the young man chosen to walk away.

Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart then delivers a powerful message which includes this line: "That one decision will have a lasting impact on the lives of everyone involved; from family to family, to your friends, to neighbors, and to the entire community. When situations are going down pause and think about the long-term consequences."

Mayor Hart is the face of the Project Pause message. Mayor Hart came up with the idea to create a campaign to stop violence in the city. 

But Hart brought the project to Teknitions Music Group in Waterloo to help create a powerful way to share project pause and a platform to connect with the area's youth.

"They see the newest artist that is coming out of here. We definitely have an impact with the community when it comes to that. They trust us because they know us because they trust our creative mind," said Christian Stayton of TMG Services.

It is a trust these local business men are using to show the realities of a split second decision including the arrest, booking, sentencing, a life behind bars.

"We need to open up that line of communication because more of the kids that are going through are getting over looked in our communities. We have to open different activities, different functions to bring them in and ask them, 'Hey, speak your mind. Talk to us. Let us know what is going on,'" said Joshua Mitchell Sr. of TMG Services.

This comes as the city continues to battle violence. Violence that has taken the lives of many, including this mother of three, Mikaela Hill, who was shot and killed in her home this summer.

For the owners of TMG Services, Project Pause hits home.

"Unfortunately there are people we won't be able to work with again. It's sad because it is the reality," said Mark Nalls of TMG Services.

The hope is to share the video and create discussions in the community by partnering with local schools and youth programs.

Project Pause will also include other videos dealing with topics like domestic violence and bullying.

Watch the full Project Pause video on The Teknitions Facebook page.

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