Vigils usually held for victims of violence are now becoming crime scenes themselves

Posted at 6:51 AM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-19 06:51:08-04

Vigils held for victims of violence are becoming crime scenes themselves.

Art McKoy, the leader of the anti-violence organization, Black on Black Crime said the streets are hardly safe for him to lead grieving loved ones in prayer.

"We feel like it's our duty to be there, no matter the risks,” said McKoy. “It’s a changing world. Today, it’s a whole different ballgame."
McKoy said most nights, he and fellow supporters are armed with nothing more than faith and prayer.

"We ourselves feel like we're in more danger than we've ever been after the thousands of vigils that we've done,” said McKoy. “We are absolutely looking over our shoulder. We believe that God is our mighty protection from all the guns that might be pointed toward us."
Loved ones gathered, just days ago, on Cleveland’s East Side, to remember Devon Youngblood. Someone killed him - in the same spot on East 85th - while another vigil was going on for another victim of gun violence four years earlier.
Police recovered as many as 20 shell casings.
"These are different times. The city is dangerous, the vigil is dangerous,” said McKoy.
McKoy said, he'd be there tomorrow if someone called for his help, but added if people don't stop the party atmosphere at vigils, he may reconsider.