Mother's Day plea: End violence in Flint - WNEM TV 5

Mother's Day plea: End violence in Flint

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

On Mother's Day, churches throughout Flint recognized the mothers who have lost a child to gun violence. 

"It's tragic not just on Mother's Day, but every day," said Teresa Johnson.

Johnson lost her nephew, Jalen Lewis, to gun violence at just 20 years old. She said it’s a harsh reminder, especially on a holiday dedicated to mothers like she and her sister, but she said she’s thankful for Prince of Peace Church.

"It is very special for them to acknowledge that they are gone, that their killers have not been caught yet, it's a privilege," Johnson said.

Reverend Jeffery Hawkins Sr. is the Pastor at Prince of Peace and he said he has his own personal connection after losing not one, but two sons to homicide in the city of Flint.

"The pain never goes away, parents deal with this every single day and even a day like Mother's Day, where their life has been altered, makes it challenging for them to even celebrate,” Hawkins said.

He hopes Prince of Peace will remain a support system for those suffering from loss as well as encourage people to come forward when they know information about a crime.

"We've seen so much violence and shootings lately and it's time for us to come together and say you know what? We need to stop the killing, stop the shooting, stop the violence,” Hawkins said. “It's not just the victim, but the whole family becomes victimized and enough is enough."

The Day of Remembrance balloon release followed church services at the downtown Flint flat lot.

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