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City of Baltimore stands hand in hand with families torn apart

Posted at 11:09 PM, Dec 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-28 23:09:32-05

Their loved ones make up the 343-people killed with a few days left in the year.

The City of Baltimore put together an interfaith vigil for the families of homicide victims.

RELATED: Photos: Candlelight vigil held to remember the lives lost to violence in 2017

When Mayor Catherine Pugh asked people, who had a family member killed to stand-- more people stood up than not in the room of hundreds.

Pugh reading signs of encouragement for 2018, many in the crowd carrying a heavy heart and the name of a life lost this year.

"As we continue to work together collaboratively that we will change the future of Baltimore,” said Pugh. “This will Become the safest city in America."

The Mayor pointing to new efforts that are in place and will start next year.

One good sign, more police officers hired then retired or resigned in 2017.

Pugh also pointing to a new multi-million-dollar partnership with ROCA, an anti-violence youth intervention program. Also referencing $5 million dollars for more city cameras and technology.

Tina Forrester’s husband was shot and killed outside his work while on the phone with her.

She wants to see the people in power do more to stop the violence.

"I want to see these people that came here with pictures of their loved ones and not their loved ones to have justice,” said Forrester. “I want them to have answers. I want accountability I want change, I know it doesn't happen overnight, but it's not going to happen by reminding us how many there are,"

Men like Darryl Green found strength in forgiveness--his brother was killed by a 14-year-old boy.

After 25 years in prison he testified to get his brother's killer out, he now works with him as the leader of  Deep Forgiveness.

"What's happening in the streets of Baltimore is where we got to let our young folks be able to let our young folks look through a different set of lenses,” said Green. “Instead of lenses of revenge retaliation lenses of healing reconciliation and forgiveness."

Keon Richburg, only 15 years old, said he came to the vigil because he’s tired of his childhood friends in a jail cell or lifeless on a city block.

"The body count is mainly built on young men in the streets," said Richburg.

18-year-old Damontae Chabers said there aren’t enough things to do in the city.

“You going to go outside and do the wrong thing,” said Chabers. “It's easy to do the wrong thing but it's hard to do the right thing."

All of these people standing hand in hand looking hoping to move forward to a much smaller number of lives lost in 2018.