Families impacted by violence in Baton Rouge challenging the community to take stand
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Crime is no stranger to Baton Rouge, but two families bonded by tragedy believe they have the tools to make a difference and save lives.
Devin Page, Jr. and Allie Rice were killed in two separate shootings in 2022, but police have not arrested anyone in either case as of yet.
The families of both victims are urging the community to step up and take a stand against violence.
“We talk about the problems all the time, but today’s the time to talk about a solution,” Paul Rice, Rice’s father said.
Page’s grandmother Cathy Toliver challenged a pack house inside the East Baton Rouge Main Library to come up with new ways to combat crime.
The goal is for community members to choose a month, and develop a strategy that they believe will make a difference.
To kick things off, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul and dozens of community members teamed up to walk different neighborhoods and speak to citizens that live in ‘high crime areas’. Chief Paul focused on two different spots that have had a high rate of shootings and overdoses over the last few months.
Toliver plans to start a street ministry series and begin preaching in the same kind of areas around the city.
“There are 11 months left in the year. We want the community to adopt a month, take that month, and during that time, we want you to get in the street in the area the Chief designates, and we’re going to rock that month,” Tolliver said.
“To have an organization starting at the community level, two families who are experiencing a lot of hurt and pain, and they want to channel that energy into purpose,” Chief Paul said.
These families are urging people to get involved now, and don’t wait until something happens to you to start making a difference.
“I’m trying to prevent this by sharing my pain and reveal what’s going on in my life, and in my daughter’s life so that it won’t happen to you,” Tolliver said.
“It’s not one solution that’s going to fix all of this, but let’s take it down into smaller pieces, let’s find people who have the skills, desire, and knowledge to attack those areas and let’s take them one at a time,” Rice said.
They plan to revisit the strategies they come up with at the end of the year to see how much progress was made, and which ones were effective.
Click here to report a typo.
Copyright 2022 WAFB. All rights reserved.