ALBANY, N.Y. — On a Saturday afternoon with no known shootings in the Capital City, residents in the Arbor Hill and West Hill neighborhoods banded together for a march against the violence that has gripped Albany's poorest neighborhoods.
2017 has seen six murders thus far, and more than twice the amount of shootings over the same period one year ago. Police are at a loss to explain the rash of violence, but have pledged a full-on blitz of resources to stop it.
"When communication breaks down, that's when the violence occurs," said organizer Kasir Rasul, a former director of Albany's "Cure the Violence" group. "Pretty much, we have to be more active as a community."
Local youth organizations, including the "Elite Barbettes" dance group, joined in the march as an example to their young members.
"Actions speak louder than words. We want to show that these girls can come together, and so can our communities," said group manager DePrincess Golden.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin — who is also running for mayor — were both on hand for Saturday's march. The event ended with a community barbecue in Swinburne Park.