Bronx church prays for peace in Crotona Park in the wake of rising gun violence

A Bronx church held a "Prayer in the Park" event to raise awareness about gun violence in New York City.

News 12 Staff

Jul 2, 2022, 5:09 PM

Updated 741 days ago


A Bronx pastor rallied up some of his congregation members, other churches and neighbors Saturday with the hopes to end to the ongoing gun violence in the borough.
All the participants who marched in unity in Crotona Park had signs and prayed.
The march and prayer service was held just days after a woman pushing a stroller was fatally shot in the Upper East Side.
"Throughout history, prayer has been a staple in many communities," said Pastor Tyshaun Brown. He is using prayer to combat the growing violence in the Crotona Park community.
"But since I've been a kid, since the years have progressed, every year it seems like there's a surge of violent activity that's happened right here in this park," Brown added. "My church and I felt the need that if we could pray and bring some positivity to the area, possibly and hopefully we could decrease that crime rate."
Brown said, aside from shootings, other crimes, such as burglaries, have been on the rise in the community.
The NYPD says that in the community's 42nd Precinct, those crimes have gone up anywhere between 4% to as high as 85%. Those same statistics show that gun crimes are down. Residents, however, say gun violence is still a concern.
"We used to be able to send our kids out and play alone, unattended. Now these days, you can't even do that," said Rev. Michelle Jackson, of the Bronx Community Baptist Church, who also came out to show her support.
While politicians like Gov. Kathy Hochul have signed legislation for gun control and concealed carry, Brown said solving the problem needs to be more than just putting pen to paper.
"It's one thing to sit behind a desk and sign off on laws. It's another thing to get in the community, figure out what's going on, figure out why these things are happening," Brown said.
Brown added that he plans more prayer get-togethers and wants to make the march an annual event.

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