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Youth march against crime, violence as city grapples with another violent weekend

Posted at 11:26 PM, Sep 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-02 15:49:24-04

They aren’t old enough to drive a car but that didn’t stop them from driving a point home in one of Cleveland’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods. A group of teenagers and young adults along with dozens of others from the organization ‘Change in Motion’ marched Saturday morning against violence and especially youth violence.

The local organization started its march in the 12000-block of St. Clair before making its way to the Glenville Recreation Center. Many of the young adults participating in the ‘stop the violence’ march were under the age of 16.

“People need that inspiration to think, ‘yeah we need to stop the violence. People out here my age are killing, just killing for fun or killing over a pair of shoes,” said 15-year-old Darshanea Lawson. “People need to sit down and listen and stop the violence.”

Some of the other young adults said gun violence is an issue that transcends age groups, demographics and neighborhoods.

“It’s important because we need to stop the violence and stop the bad things from happening and stop people from dying,” said 12-year-old Kayera Culberson.

The group’s march comes as the city grapples with a rising number of juveniles being accused of and being the victims of gun violence. So far this year, 28 juveniles have been shot in Cleveland. The 81 homicides so far in 2018 is also outpacing the number of homicides on this date last year.

For Rob McQueen, the leader of Change in Motion, a local organization that is working with several area youth organizations to reduce gun violence, the issue of violence in our community also traces back to the dynamics at home. That’s why his organization also targets youth who are facing difficult upbringings.

“They’re doing any time of craft or sport and they go home. If home ain’t right, what makes you think the kid is going to be right?” McQueen said.

The march came just hours after a 28-year-old woman was killed and seven men were injured in a mass shooting at an eastside nightclub. According to police, 
officers first responded to Club X-Rated, 3232 Lakeside Ave., around 1:15 a.m on Saturday. Upon arrival, they found multiple people had been shot including a woman who was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Her name has not been released.

RELATED: One dead, seven hurt during shooting at nightclub on Cleveland's east side

Based on the preliminary investigation, it appears patrons who were attending an event for local rap artists got into a fight and shots were fired both inside and outside the club. Seven men were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center and University Hospitals for treatment. Their conditions are not known.

So far no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call detectives at 216-623-5464.