Paterson marches against gun violence as shootings continue | Paterson Times

Paterson marches against gun violence as shootings continue


Dozens of people joined a mile-long march on Saturday morning as the city reels from a spate of shootings that left nine shot, one fatally, over a three-day span, calling for an end to gun violence.

“I think they really don’t have a heart. It’s all about the streets. It shouldn’t be that way,” said Shirley Cox, who lost a niece and nephew to gun violence in the city. “That’s not the way to go. You wouldn’t want anyone taking your life.”

Cox joined the annual Ceasefire march, in its 13th year, to send a message to would be shooters. She urged them to put down the weapons.

Police have had success in reducing killings, mostly from gun violence. For example, in 2018 there were 12 homicides, down from 24 the previous year. Police in Paterson have one of the highest solvability rates in New Jersey, making it difficult for suspects to escape prosecution.

“It’s ridiculous because it’s so unnecessary,” said pastor Ronald Joseph, who lost his cousin, Carl Johnson, to gun violence in 2011. “I don’t know the reason why they are doing it. I know one thing — they need to stop it.”

Violence in Paterson is fueled by loose gun regulations in nearby states. 80-percent of crime guns in New Jersey come from out of the state, according to a report issued by attorney general Gurbir Grewal.

“It grieves my soul, all these shootings,” said pastor John Algera, a founding member of the Ceasefire community group, speaking of the recent burst of shootings.

Algera expressed frustration at the lack of national action on gun control.

“Did you see what New Zealand did after that mass shooting? Within one week, the government changed the whole gun law. Within one week!” said Algera speaking of the Christchurch mosque shootings that left 50 dead and 50 injured.

“We’ve had enough,” said Kristina Hill, co-lead at the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America of Passaic County. Her group advocates for an end to lax U.S. gun laws and loopholes that give people easy access to guns.

Hill said some people live in fear of the next shooting. That has been particularly true in Paterson since Thursday afternoon.

Nine people have been shot, one to death, over the past three days.

“I’m asking our officers to step it up, especially with these investigations,” said mayor Andre Sayegh. “If you apprehend some of these shooters, you’re going to see a significant decrease at least for the next several months.”

Police charged one alleged shooter with attempted murder on Friday. He allegedly shot two people on Rosa Parks Boulevard and Governor Street on Thursday afternoon.

Municipal officials have tapped county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to provide resources to curb the sudden spike in shootings.

Passaic County sheriff Richard Berdnik said his office has been providing manpower, both uniformed and plainclothes detectives, to Paterson over the past two days.

“We’re providing adequate manpower and working with them on special details,” said Berdnik at the march.

Marchers walked from the Cobb Municipal Park on North Main Street to the Danforth Memorial Library on Broadway, halting at shooting sites to pray for the fallen victims.

At the corner of Presidential Boulevard and Clinton Street, Winnie Harrison of Ceasefire community group, called out the name of Nazerah Bugg, 14-year-old girl killed at the location in 2014, before a brief prayer.

“The community is tired of this violence,” said pastor Allen Boyer of ‎Bethel AME Church.

On Broadway, the marchers placed a casket to tell perpetrators of their ultimate demise, likely at the hand of fellow shooters.

“It’s there as a symbol,” said Boyer.

Ceasefire March 2019

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  • bigron

    Where is Maritza Davila?

  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    It's the easiest solution ever. It's called parenting. You may not like my comment,but I was a single mother whose kids grew up in Irvington NJ,a town 100x worse than Paterson. I see the same old story,same tears,same excuses in Paterson. Why aren't my children out in the streets being thugs(they are now in their 30's),no criminal records,working full time jobs.why aren't so other children out in the streets drugging and thugging? Very simple. They were properly raised. They were supervised, taught values and morals. Breaking the law was never an option. They were never allowed out alone, they were drilled about actions and consequences.They believe in God. YOU WANT THE SHOOTING TO STOP? then raise your freaking kids like a human is supposed to. Bring them to school and pick them up so they don't have a chance to associate with criminals.
    If they want to become friends with someone, investigate the friend and their family first. Keep your kids in your sight at all times. If you can't do it yourself, pay or trade so someone trusted does it for you.If you dont want to do this,don't have kids.Stop letting the government raise your kids. They are in school all day,then after school programs and youth centers into the night. And you wonder why your kids are criminals?Why did you even have kids if you don't want to raise them?I see most Paterson kids acting like animals after school. Causing trouble, cursing, destroying property, fighting,littering. No respect whatsoever. This is the fault of YOU, the parents. Yeah I know, you have to work,blah,blah,blah.So did I. We lived in poverty, in a horrific city.So save your excuses. When parents start acting like parents are supposed to, the shooting will stop. It's that simple. Go ask all the parents with normal, law abiding, hard working kids how they raised their kids, and learn from them. Do what they did, and the shooting will stop. It really is that simple.

    • LL ME

      you are completed correct…

  • peejay1954

    Cops are too busy busting hookers and johns to be bothered with gun violence.
    The latter makes no money for Paterson, the former does

    • bigron

      My god, the stupidity of your comment. I'm glad they are.

  • Miss jamaica

    I am not sure how many of the council were present here yesterday but they should have all been there. Start the conversation dont wait for re-election.
    One of the speaker mentions New Zealand in his comments our country will not address gun violence on that level our country is run by the NRA our elected officials are in bed with NRA and the powerful lobbying group , there won’t be any discussion.
    Look at Chicago , Oklahoma, Parkland, Newton , Atlanta, Newark to name a few some of these shooting shock the nation to it core, still no conversation.

    Please go back a read the comments from the president of the NRA on most of these shooting totally unconscionable. Just shocking.