City leaders, public rally to stop violence in Decatur

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) -  Well over a hundred Decatur residents and officials marched through the downtown streets Saturday in the name of change.

Recently, three minors and one adult had their preliminary hearing following what authorities called a random crime spree that left two dead, homes shot at, and multiple people robbed.

In response, Decatur Youth Services (DYS) got together with the mayor, police chief, district attorney, superintendent, and virtually every youth group and church in the city for a peaceful rally that started at City Hall and ended at the amphitheater.

"If the good people are together making good decisions, it's harder for bad people to make bad decisions,"  said 15-year-old Cody Jaggwe. "There's a lot of energy you know, a lot of people that wanted to do better for themselves and their kids."

Teen marches alongside Decatur cop for peace

Teen marches alongside Decatur cop for peace

He was one of dozens of teenagers present, holding signs expressing the community's need for peace.

The family of Joshua Davis, one of the two gunned down that night, wore their 'Justice for Josh' t-shirts and proudly marched alongside the police and youth present.

"I think it’s awesome, I think it needs to continue for the city of Decatur," said Davis' mother Renee Davis. "It's not everyone else’s decision when you go and when you die. It has to stop."

The city leaders spoke to the hundreds in the crowd, encouraging them to speak up against violence. Youth present were asked to sign pledge cards promising to discourage the bad behavior they may see around them.

"This is going to be a campaign," explained DYS director Bruce Jones, who coordinated Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 4.16.30 PMthe event. "We’re going to schools, athletic programs, we’re going to push getting these kids to sign that pledge wearing this bracelet saying 'I pledge to stop the violence,' so this was the start."

Jones is also getting ready for a summit where he will try to provide resources to fill the gaps where he fears Decatur's youth may be slipping through the cracks.

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