More than 100 people marched through Toledo gang territories Sunday with a message: stop the violence.
The group rallied then marched two miles down Detroit Ave. to protest gang violence. The 4th annual 2 Mile March & Rally 2 Stop Gang Violence was organized by former gang members, including Chris McBrayer. Itâ??s been nearly a decade since he left the X-Blocc Crips, a Toledo street gang.
â??Itâ??s ignorant. Itâ??s nonsense,â?? McBrayer said of Toledoâ??s gang violence. â??We need to grow up, learn to be men, and understand that the community is here to help.â??
The rally started at Central and Detroit, which is X-Blocc territory, according to McBrayer. Organizers say they picked the route down Detroit because they knew theyâ??d be passing several gang territories.
The march ended with a party at Indiana and Detroit. Chris Berry of West Toledo says several gang members mouthed off to him during the march, and he tuned them out.
â??Maybe next year they wonâ??t be out there,â?? Berry said. â??Theyâ??ll be marching with us.â??
City Councilmembers Larry Sykes and Paula Hicks-Hudson spoke at the rally, but Mayor D. Michael Collins wasnâ??t there. McBrayer plans on marching to the mayorâ??s office next month, and relaying the anti-violence message to him.
The after party was eventually cut short due to the weather, but the march was completed as planned.