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Columbus organization remembers murder victims with ‘Stop the Violence’ motorcade

The non-profit organization gathered more than 20 vehicles for the motorcade and drove to several hotspot crime locations in the city.
Published: Mar. 19, 2022 at 9:32 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Violence has claimed the lives of many people - leaving families to cope with the loss of loved ones.

Saturday, 100 Women on the Move held its ‘Wake Up, Columbus; Stop the Violence’ motorcade. This event gave families a chance to remember the lives lost and acknowledge the violence issues in the Fountain City.

The organization was joined by deputies, city leaders, and people in the community to remember the people murdered in 2021.

The non-profit organization gathered more than 20 vehicles for the motorcade and drove to several hotspot crime locations in the city including Victory Drive, Old Cusseta Road, Buena Vista Road, and Forrest Road to speak out against violence.

“You read about it somebody being murdered, you hear about somebody being murdered, but today we want to focus on allowing the community to see all 70 victims who were murdered in 2021,” said Wanda Banks-Rookard, member of 100 Women on the Move.

Each car was lined with posters of victims names and the dates they were killed, along with black, red and white streamers - the black symbolied darkness, red symbolized blood shed, and white represented hope.

Among the drivers were mothers and family members like Jemeka Hall, whose son, Demetrius Daniels, was killed last April.

“I’m here to keep his legacy going,” Hall said. “He always used to share with me that he wanted to become a millionaire and actually give back to the community by teaching the kids to save money and be entrepreneurs so they don’t have to turn to violence.”

A local school teacher, Akear Mewborn, also drove her car to support students she’s lost to murder.

Saturday, she remembered her former student, Cortez Averette, who was stabbed to death last year in April.

“As an educator, those are my babies, those are my babies inside the classroom, outside the classroom,” Mewborn said.

Columbus City Councilman John House and his wife, Marilyn House, also came out in support of the event.

“We care, we’re concerned, and we want to work with the rest of the citizens in the city to stop this violence,” the councilman said.

The event ended at the Columbus Civic Center with speeches from Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson, Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon, and Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman.

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