3rd annual Silence the Violence rally calls for more COVID-19, mental health resources

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Saturday afternoon, dozens of concerned citizens came together in remembrance of loved ones lost, to talk about crime, and join in fellowship at Hadley Park.   

This year’s Silence the Violence event centered around connecting people with key resources in Metro Nashville, like public health, expungement assistance, COVID-19 vaccines, and Metro police.  

Rev. Venita Lewis, Director of Keeping Every Vision Alive (KEVA), said violence and crime won’t go down if people’s basic needs aren’t met. Something that’s been made more complicated by the pandemic.   

“Lots of times they’re hungry,” Rev. Lewis said about those who commit crimes. “You see the climb, it’s attached to COVID. If we can bring these services on the ground in this pandemic, we are going to decrease the number in crime.” 

In addition, some say getting mental health resources to people early in life is also key. Said Melissa Blackburn Judge of the Division II General Sessions Court, ,  

“Aggravated assault, robbery, string of drug crimes, that doesn’t have to happen. If we can take the time to figure out what is actually going on in that second graders life and try to help that child then, or that eighth-grader, we can stop those adult crimes and stop that progression,” Said Melissa Blackburn Judge of the Division II General Sessions Court in Davidson County.  

Lewis said following Saturday’s rally, she planned on calling for city officials to create a one-stop location where residents can get access and assistance with city and pandemic resources. 

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