It's a small but earnest request: Please don't kill anyone this weekend. Like, pretty please.
In the wake of a string of violent crimes in the area, churches have organized 'Ceasefire Columbus,' an event scheduled at Traveler's Rest Baptist Church on Saturday.
There will be live music, food, and a party to promote safer, more tolerant streets.
Reverend Charles E. Bond Jr. asks one simple thing: "We really would like to have one weekend where no one gets killed. If you're going to set goals, why not set them high?"
Good call, Reverend. No loftier goal than three days of no killing, right?
Bond has rallied religious leaders to organize a "Ceasefire Columbus" event at his church on Saturday as part of a campaign to curb violence. The party-style gathering will be free and offer live music and food. Volunteers will provide counseling to youths with gang or drug problems, and free HIV screenings will be available.
The catalyst for the event was the July slaying of Daequan Nix, 15, who was gunned down in the University District in what homicide detectives called a "neighborhood beef." Since then, Bond said, he's seen too many young people killed by gun violence in nearby neighborhoods.
"This is our city, and we need to make it a safe place to live," he said. "We can't leave it to chance."
After Nix's killing and a rash of other shootings in mid-July, city officials and police revamped a task force that deals with gun crimes. Although Bond has worked with city officials and commends their work, now it's time for the community to take action, he said.
The Saturday gathering "is just the kind of thing that the mayor wants to see," said Dan Williamson, a spokesman for Mayor Michael B. Coleman. "This is something that the police cannot do alone, that the city cannot address alone."
So if you need to kill someone, please wait until Monday to do so. It's the least you could do, really.
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