BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The number of lives lost on Kern County streets continues to rise. This is why dozens of community members gathered at the Liberty Bell Tuesday night for a hope and justice candlelight vigil in honor of homicide victims.
Everyone had a different story to tell.
“How is that making whoever takes that life feel better? How can they sleep at night? Knowing that they’ve taken someone so important,” said a community member at the vigil.
Dozens of community members gathered at the liberty bell honoring the lives that were taken by violence here on our local streets.
“It’s here it’s in our town it doesn’t belong here,” said a community member about the violence.
Many are still in the healing process after suffering the loss of a loved one. Everyone expressed a wide range of emotions. Angry as these lives continue to be taken at a growing rate.
“It’s like we’re trying to beat last year’s numbers in homicides. You know it’s a number, but it’s just getting higher. And like for me I’m not really sure that a kumbaya session, I really appreciate this but, I just feel like the anger is there,” said a community member.
Officials also spoke out with District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Mayor Karen Goh, and Police Chief Greg Terry in attendance.
“We can change things but, we have to be able to do it together,” said Terry.
Founder of Thee Next Steps, Mo Ali, who put on the candlelight vigil echoed Terry’s statement saying if you see something say something.
“It is very important not to wait till it happens in our household to then get livid with fighting for justice and speaking up,” said Ali.
Zimmer urged the public to report these crimes or suspicious activity.
“I think most of them are unsolved and we want people to know that every case is solvable. Every single one. If people know something about a crime, please call. Even if you’re afraid, call a secret witness. Point law enforcement in the right direction. Because in gang crimes if they kill people will kill again and we don’t need more violence,” said Zimmer.
Thee Next Steps is hoping to raise awareness of the daily violence occurring on Kern County streets.