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"Peace Walks" To Protest Violent Crime Outbreak

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Josh James
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WUKY

With violent crime on the rise in recent weeks, city police are collaborating with community members to initiate a series of “peace walks.”

Supporters - some in uniform, others  neighborhood residents - are standing in the middle of Lexington’s Duncan Park, close to the spot where 21-year-old Antonio Franklin Jr. was shot and killed earlier this year. His mother, Anita Franklin, is speaking to reporters when she’s interrupted by police sirens.

"Sorry," she says, "but that's a familiar sound in our community, and we want that to not have to happen every day."

Franklin will be helping lead the first of a series of walks, organized in part through the police department’s “We Care” program, meant to highlight the human cost of youth violence. She says she's not running away from the problem and neither can the community.

"I chose to live in this community. I could live on another side of town. And this is important to me... this park is important to me. This side of town is important to me," she explains.

The walks, all beginning at Duncan Park, will start this Saturday and continue each Saturday through August 2. Supporters who can’t walk are being asked to sit on their porches and leave the lights on in solidarity.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.