ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A St. Louis City Alderman and some of his neighbors are ready to take a stand against black on black violence.
They are mourning the death of Alderman Jeffrey Boyd’s nephew who was shot and killed Monday night in the 58-hundred block of Lotus west of Goodfellow. St. Louis Police say 23-year old Rashad Farmer was near his car when a bullet struck him in his chest. Boyd said he was a quiet young man who graduated from Riverview Gardens High School and was looking for work. He had been visiting his girlfriend. The two were expecting a child in the fall.
Tuesday a group of young men in their thirties told Boyd they want to hold a march in Farmer’s memory and to protest the gun violence that is taking lives in St. Louis neighborhoods.
“We need to stop this violence, not just west St. Louis City, but throughout this whole city and county,” said one man who declined to give his name.
Boyd said he would eagerly support a march “Will it make a difference?” he asked before answering his own question. “Who knows. What I do think it would do is draw more attention to it,” he said adding, “One thing about us as a people we tend to not want to get involved unless we see other people getting involved and all of a sudden more will come.”
Boyd speculated a minor grievance prompted the gunfire. He is calling on youth to learn to talk out their differences, to apologize for offending someone and to stop using weapons as a response.
"It`s so easy to shoot and kill somebody, but you are such a coward, you are such a coward and then what?" Boyd asked.
Some of the neighbors pointed half the homes in the block where Farmer was killed are boarded up. They complained the city should tear them down and provide some summer activities for youngsters who live in the 22nd ward north of Martin Luther King. Nearby schools are closed.
“Let’s march for everybody else who has passed on this year and let’s get the message out that we do care as a community and this is not acceptable,” said Boyd adding,” This normal shouldn’t be normal.”
The alderman hopes shining a spotlight on gun violence will change hearts and bring peace back to the neighborhoods across the region.