West Memphis Police Shootings Almost Cancel "Stop the Violence" Rally

West Memphis Police Shootings Almost Cancel "Stop the Violence" Rally

A peace rally in West Memphis - just days after two police officers were gunned down in the line of duty.
WEST MEMPHIS, ARKANSAS – A peace rally in West Memphis - just days after two police officers were gunned down in the line of duty. Sgt. Brandon Paudert and Officer Bill Evans were shot and killed during a traffic stop on I-40 Thursday. The suspects, Jerry Kane and his 16-year-old son Joe, died later in a hail of gunfire in the West Memphis Walmart parking lot.

About three dozen people showed up Saturday afternoon for a "Stop the Violence" rally at Courtyard Apartments in West Memphis. Organizers considered canceling the event after Thursday's shootings, but decided to continue because, they say, the message still hits home.

“We really almost cancelled the event because a lot of people were horror-stricken,” said Dannie Gatewood, head of the residents’ council at the apartment complex, and one of the event’s organizers. “We're back to bring the community some well-deserved and some well-needed positive atmosphere.”

But with a neighborhood in need of hope, and a community in need of healing, “I started saying to myself, ‘it's now or never,’” Gatewood said.
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