Group holds second line to honor Mother's Day shooting victims - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Group holds second line to honor Mother's Day shooting victims

Uptown Second Line Uptown Second Line

New Orleans-Hundreds gathered for a second line honoring the victim's of last Sunday's Mother's Day shooting. Participants say last weekend's violence won't keep them from doing what they love.

Music filled the air on St. Charles Avenue Sunday afternoon. It was the first time since last week's Mother's Day shooting that a large group gathered to second line. The Divine Ladies and Unbreakable Men social aid and pleasure clubs organized this celebration. Divine Ladies member Jean Armstrong explains, "The whole idea is showing the public we are not violent people, we are good people. Second lines have been going on since I was a child and we're going to keep it going, it's never gonna stop."

Twenty people were injured last Sunday when police say two gunmen opened fire on a second line in the 7th Ward. Those 20 victims were on the minds of many Sunday. "It's unthinkable. You can't imagine somebody doing something like that in a crowd like that. We've got prayers for the victims and hope everything will be alright for them," said Carl Jasper.

Most say they still can't understand the senseless violence. "I cried and I cried because the kids, I don't understand what's in their heads. But guess what, they should know better," said Armstrong.

And although concerns were raised immediately after the shooting about the safety during second lines, the people gathered Uptown Sunday say those concerns are un-founded. Sam Nelson explains, "The culture we're here celebrating is one of peace and community and life and the culture of violence is one that we're trying to discourage. They're very two separate things. I second line a lot, I love it and I always feel very safe doing it."

Which is why most of them say they won't stop second lining. They believe they shouldn't have to. Instead, they say it's time for the city to invest in the future of young men, who are so often drawn to a life of crime. Albert Haywood says, "We've got to come together before the tragedy starts, we come together before the tragedy starts and educate these kids and give them something to say yes to instead of everything to say no to. We can curb a lot of this violence ya know."

Kenneth Armstrong added, "That's the most important thing right here in our community, and that's what we need, more education, really, really, really."

There was a strong police presence at Sunday's second line, with officers riding on bicycles along the route, as well as stationed in squad cars at the start.

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