COLUMBUS (WCMH) – People across the nation wore orange on Friday in order to raise awareness about gun violence.
It happened here in Columbus, too with hundreds marching in the streets, side-by-side with police officers. Family members who lost loved ones and those who support them all rallied together to show their support for the cause.
“If you look at what hunters wear when they’re out, it’s about trying not to shoot and kill our fellow brother,” said organizer Yaves Ellis. “That’s what the wear orange is all about.”
Radio One Columbus organized an event for the second year in a row, that led a couple hundred people marching through East Livingston Avenue to the Barnett Recreation Center.
“Our goal is to raise awareness, raise the conversation, raise consciousness about gun violence here in Central Ohio and how we can come together and begin to stop that,” said Ellis.
Lavelle Stillwell lost his father to gun violence when he was just 15-years-old.
“I know he would have loved to see my progress,” said Stillwell. “For us to come out here and show our support, all different shades, police, the community, it means a lot.”
There was a balloon release in memory of the loved ones lost.
“We’re tired of seeing it happen,” said Ellis. “It’s our job to do something about it.”
Acting Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said the event was about working together.
“We have the same issues that concern us, so we should have the same mission: combat gun violence in our community,” he said.
Chief Quinlan said no one should have to be in fear of gun violence in their everyday life.
“The group that was here, wearing orange teaming up with white shirts and orange shirts. It was very good because they were so receptive to the police. They invited us here. They wanted us here and we need to create these partnerships,” he said.