BROOKLYN (PIX11) — Songs were sung, and the names of gun violence victims were read aloud in Brooklyn Friday afternoon outside the Barclays Center.
Pastor Edward Hinds with the GOD Squad said, “251 families have gone over these holidays without their loved ones at their table.”
Among those at the ceremony was Suzette Lewin. Her 12-year-old son Kade was killed by a stray bullet in March of 2022 while sitting in a parked car eating lunch in Brooklyn.
“When I mention Kade’s name, I really get worked up about it. I want them to remember Kade Lewin,” Lewin told PIX11 News.
He was a loving person, such a loving child to each and everyone one around us.”
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell expressed condolences to the victims’ families while noting that, statistically, things have improved since 2021.
“We have a decrease in shootings and homicides this year over last, but that is cold comfort to those of you who have lost your mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends to gun violence,” said Sewell.
Mayor Eric Adams spoke at the event, repeating what he has said numerous times this year about repeat offenders committing crimes in the city.
“There’s 1694 people in this city that are repeatedly involved in violent crimes, and we have to identify them and give the help they need, and if they don’t want to take the help they need, then they have to deal with the criminal justice system, and I’m not going to apologize for that,” said Adams.
Jackie Rowe-Adams runs Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E., a support group she founded in 2006. She lost two sons to gun violence.
She told PIX11 News she feels there’s hope for a better 2023 if lawmakers take action.
Rowe-Adams said, “we need them to write legislation into law, let’s stop this, let’s fix this bail reform, so the criminals that are shooting and killing our loved ones, don’t go to jail and come right out.”