NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Dozens local law enforcement officers and residents came together for the Liberty City Peace Walk, Friday morning, hoping to spread a message of peace in a community that has been plagued by violence.
Residents, families and police officers marched in Northwest Miami-Dade with hopes that their initiative sends a message of peace to the community in the wake of gun violence and police-involved shootings.
“It’s to let the community know that police are with us and not against us, and also, to let the police know that we are with them and not against them,” said Alicia Wilson who attended the peace walk.
Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press, who has a long-term commitment to improving police-community relations, led the peace walk.
“Cops are hurting. People in the community are hurting,” said Press, “and if you don’t start talking, you lose that initiative, and it just seems to get worse. We’re going to try and break that standard today.”
“I was very excited to meet some of them,” said attendee Eziekala Prosper, regarding a meeting local law enforcers.
After the walk was a back-to-school block party at the Charles R. Drew K-8 Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, where police and the people of Liberty City enjoyed a sunny Friday morning together.
“It takes all of us coming together to create a different Liberty City,” said event organizer Cecilia Gutierrez, “and a different reality for the children of this neighborhood and a safer Liberty City.”
Meanwhile, a project to place surveillance cameras at community churches was also unveiled, Friday afternoon, at Greater Bethel AME Church. The “Eyes of God” project will place security cameras outside five churches in Miami that have seen high rates of gun violence. Cameras have already been installed at three of the churches.
Terry Wright, the owner of Wright & Young Funeral Home, said the cameras will send a message to criminals.
“Our main objective today is to catch those criminals, put them away, and put fear in their hearts so they know you’re not going to get away with taking lives,” said Wright.
City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez said the cameras will help identify criminals precisely.
“Cameras don’t make mistakes,” Suarez said. “Cameras don’t misidentify people. Cameras are precise, and they’re there, and they protect people.”
City officials, private donors and community redevelopment agencies pitched in to fund the project.
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