“We are losing too many children, too many lives in this short amount of time,” said Bernita Hawkins.
Hawkins knows from personal experience. She lost a niece and nephew to violence. “I lost my niece Carmella Rogers a couple of months ago and a few years ago I lost my nephew Brandon Hawkins to violence, both of them gun shots,” said Hawkins.
Hawkins isn’t afraid to wear her feelings on her sleeve. In fact, her entire outfit is covered with the faces of young people killed by guns in Rochester. “It’s to let them know that it’s not only that one person that's in your family but when you see them collectively it’s in your face,” said Hawkins.
Church members lit candles to remember those victims and many are calling for the community and police to step up to stop the violence. “We need more people more police walking the streets they need to be visible and we all need to work together with them to help support them with what they're doing,” said Reverend Fleming Ashford. .
Hawkins agrees. She says the police can’t do it alone. She’s calling on the community to take a stand. “Until we all can come out and say we've had enough and stand up and when you see someone doing wrong speak on it,” Hawkins added.