NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Dozens of crime victims showed up at New Orleans Police headquarters Wednesday night to talk about family members they lost to violence. Some were mothers who lost their children to murder.
Fighting back tears Cynthia Glover told us only one of her four children is still alive. Carrying their pictures, Glover said she lost three of her children to violent crime in New Orleans. She showed up at NOPD headquarters hoping her story will make a difference.
"I just want them to look at my kids, just look and see, look what happened, look what happened, I don't want no other parent to feel like me," Glover said.
She was joined by many others at the candlelight vigil who all share a heartbreaking connection, they too lost family members to violence.
"I still to this day do not know who did this to my child and it hurts so bad," said crime victim Wanda Cobbins.
Other grieving parents also brought framed pictures of the children they'll never see again as part of the vigil to observe National Crime Victim's Rights Week. While young children carried signs saying, "Thou Shall Not Kill."
New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison says his top priority is making sure every neighborhood in the city is safe.
"I am fully committed to continuing to rebuild this police department with an aggressive recruiting campaign, giving the officers new tools and equipment to do their job," Harrison said.
While Orleans Parish district attorney, Leon Cannizzaro, encouraged victims to come forward so he can prosecute perpetrators.
"It's a great sacrifice and sometimes very difficult for people to come forward and get involved in the cases of violence, you know, our commitment to them is simply if you come forward we're going to stay with you," Cannizzaro said.
In the end, community leaders and victims released butterflies as a symbol of the change that they hope they'll soon see in New Orleans, "you wake up every morning look for your kids, I did, they're not there, they're gone, they ain't never coming back and I don't want another parent to feel the way I feel cause everyday is torture for me," Glover said.
One of the mothers that we spoke with says she lost her son to violence 15 years ago. To this day, she says she still doesn't know who took his life. She showed up at Wednesday's vigil hoping she would be able to talk with an NOPD detective about his case. She tells us they were able to connect her with their cold case unit.