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Avondale anti-violence rally held to plead for peace before anticipated summer violence

Posted at 11:46 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-13 19:33:05-05

CINCINNATI — Avondale residents gathered Thursday night to call for peace ahead of the uptick in shootings the city typically sees during the summer.

"Enough is enough," community advocate Mitchell Morris said to a crowd gathered at the corner of Ridgeway Avenue and Reading Road. "It cannot continue like this."

The message isn't new, but the messengers are. In September 2019, a similar group worked in the community to try to curb the violence.

"We're losing so many people to the graveyard and the penitentiary," Morris said.

Protesters pounded the pavement and chanted to show a united front in the face of the specter of gun violence. In 2019, there were 27 total shootings in Avondale. Two of them were fatal.

"We're going to help them develop a strategy on how to kind of deal with this," community activist Pastor Ennis Tait said. "We don't want to leave them out there by themselves. They need direction. They need guidance. They need support."

Advocates have said for years they need better buy-in from the communities they serve.

"It's our time to give them that voice, but it's also our time to partner with them to make sure that whatever they're looking for – to take back their streets – we're providing that support for them," Tait said.

Cincinnati police crime data shows violent crime numbers in Avondale remained relatively flat from January 2019 to January 2020, but still higher, on average, than other Cincinnati neighborhoods.