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Community comes together to march against violence

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LAWTON, Okla_Almost 200 Lawton residents hit the streets of The View Monday to march against the escalating violence that is plaguing the neighborhood. Pastors, community leaders, victims of violence and concerned citizens started the march with a prayer at Harkey Park, near 17th and Roosevelt. The crowd then marched down 16th Street to the Sanders Heights Apartment complex, where 27 year Tanya Zachary was murdered last month.  They formed a prayer ring around the building asking for an end to the violence.

It was one of hope, solidarity and sorrow. We were able to march down the streets next to the tearful family of Deangelo Hurd, who was murdered in August in The View. We also met the mother and sister of Kenneth Young, who was killed outside the Dew Drop Inn in September. These families say they joined the march to put a face to the senseless violence, and be a part of the call from local pastors to end it.

As the crowd formed a human chain around the Sanders Heights apartment building, pastors asked for spiritual guidance in this war on crime that's claimed the life of too many.

Benicia Porter whose cousin, Deangelo Hurd, was murdered said she was overcome with emotion.

"That meant a lot to my family.  because, you don't have  a lot of people that come out in the community and get involved in things like this because they're afraid but as long as you have God on your side, that's enough, because God is going to always have your back regardless."

Porter said its a loss she hopes most people will never feel, but Shaquita Young has felt that pain. Her brother Kenneth, was also murdered. She said she thinks Monday's prayer walk will make an impact on the neighborhood.

"I told my sister in law that this might stop a little bit of the stuff that's going on to see that a lot of people did come out here, not scared to come to Sanders Heights."

Pastor Sam Moyd said today's turnout created a crack in the wall of fear that has gripped this community for too long.

"This showed us that if the community comes together with the pastors and the police a three-fold chord is not easily broken and we're going to be well on our way to helping solve some of the crime in the community."

Pastor Moyd said he wants to thank the community and Lawton police for marching. In fact, it's the first of three marches pastors are planning for areas in Lawton devastated by violence.

Pastor Moyd said the dates and locations of those marches will be finalized Thursday.

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