Walterboro residents march to end the violence

By Ava

WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCIV) -- The group Community Action Line Against Violence organized a march to stop the violence in the Walterboro community on Saturday.

The event took place at the same time as the nationwide marches for Trayvon Martin. Organizers said the events in Florida were not their focus. They said they believe they have to fix their own community first.

Led by a police escort, a group of about 65 community members began the march on Hampton Street.

"We are here To show unity, to show that there is a concern for the problems that are going on here," said Ralph Polite.

Marchers hope they displayed a message of unity in a community that's struggling to move forward from past violence.

"There's been some negative things just happen, but there's a lot of positives in Colleton County such as today," said Colleton County Sheriff Andy Strickland. "Everybody is happy and interested and excited about coming together and being here today."

Strickland was just one officer from several agencies to participate in the march. He said when law enforcement officials march with the community, it shows Walterboro how everyone works together to keep things peaceful.

"We need one another. It's time for us all to come together in Colleton County. The community needs us and we need them," Strickland said.

Prayers for the community, law enforcement officials and city leaders closed out the march at Pinckney Park. The parents of Trayvon Martin were also mentioned in prayer.

"We're sorry for what happened, when that happened, but we are here," said Horace Simmons, a community activist. "We have our own front yard to clean up first then we can take on other assignments. We have to take Walterboro step by step."

This is the second year the group has marched to stop the violence. Leaders said they will be back every year until the Walterboro community gets the message.