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'Us vs. Us:' Little Rock city leaders hold rally to address violent crime

The "Thousand Man Meeting: Us vs. Us," rally acted as an avenue for people in Little Rock to address what more can be done to combat crime towards one another.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas native and former Dallas Cowboy, Reggie Swinton held an event at the state capitol Sunday, where he pushed for more solutions to address violent crime within Little Rock communities. 

Swinton called it the "Thousand Man Meeting: Us vs Us," and said the gathering acted as an avenue for Black people to address what more can be done to combat crime towards one another.

"I can not take any more of seeing my kids or anybody else's kids buried. In 2022, a Black male is murdered by another Black male every 50 minutes in the U.S. This is the Derek Oliver Research Institute stats," said Swinton. 

RELATED: Arkansas native, former Dallas Cowboy returns home to address Little Rock crime

Swinton cleared up any misconceptions about the rally, through his fliers that read: 

This is not a Black power, justice, police brutality or what others have done to use' type of event. It's an 'us vs us,' meeting.

It was a shared effort as people of all races attended, along with city officials like Mayor Frank Scott Jr. 

Mayor Scott echoed Swinton's statement, and said it takes a collective effort to create change.

"Nearly 100% of the homicides in Little Rock are brothers and sisters of the Black faith and we're not only focusing on one particular race. We're focused on the entire races because when one soul is lost, it hurts the entire souls of the community," said Mayor Scott.

The mayor's words rang true after his speech, when Edgar Guerrero, an attendee, shared his plight from the crowd on how crime has impacted him. 

Guerrero's loved one, Brenda died last year after allegedly being assaulted by three men. 

Guerrero was there to support both Brenda's sister, Leydiana and Brenda's children. 

"We need answers too" Guerrero said "All of us are here because we feel victimized." 

Leydiana said her experience with police hasn't been progressive and with relatively no media coverage as opposed to other cases, it almost feels as though there won't be justice for her sister in the end.

"We tried to do everything that we could. We even took all this evidence to the sheriffs," said Leydiana.

It's been a tough road for Brenda's loved ones. Guerrero said she died in October, yet their family just received the autopsy reports a week ago.

From Mayor Scott to attendees like Guerrero, several people from all around the city stepped up to speak at the event, such as parents of impacted my the homicides of their children.

The parents shared their struggles with community support and receiving updates about their children's cases. 

Above all, they said the reality of the murderers still being out on the street is what's hardest to deal with. 

During the rally, Swinton challenged people to take accountability. He prompted those in the community to express empathy and look out for not only their children, but other kids in the city.

"I want everybody right now to seek out three people right now that you don't know and give them a hug," said Swinton during the meeting.

He said it's time to reclaim their communities, clean up the areas around the homes, and focus on every single young person they can. 

"But most important, Let's stop the violence," said Swinton. 

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