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Legacy of Anita Franklin continues with annual Peace Walk

Published: Sep. 27, 2020 at 11:19 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - They came to Duncan Park Sunday night with dozens of different stories—of different names and ages—all taken by gun violence. But they also carried with them one purpose in mind.

“We have to stop this. Violence--gun violence needs to stop,” said Ricardo Franklin, who is carrying on his mother’s legacy.

His mother, Anita, died suddenly seven months ago. It happened six years after his brother, Antonio, was killed in Duncan Park, when a stray bullet hit him.

“I feel like I’ve really gotten to know who she knew...how she affected them in their lives,” said Ricardo, moments before hundreds took part in what’s become an annual peace march in his 21-year-old brother’s memory, just steps from where the young man’s life ended.

“We’re just out here trying to make a difference...in this community. Keep my mother’s legacy. Keep the drive going forward,” said Ricardo Franklin.

But Sunday’s event was also for the many others who have lost loved ones to violence; many people with heart-wrenching stories of loss. And some of that loss also happened near the same place where Antonio Franklin was shot in 2014.

“He was murdered right over there,” said Jackie Shannon, pointing to the north end of Duncan Park. “Where his great-grandmother lived.”

Jackie Shannon has just one of the many stories, hers of her grandson, Tyler Williams.

“Tyler loved art. He loved Skating”

It’s stories of violence she says need to stopped being told.

“Tyler was a good kid. He had a good heart.”

So they come out...hoping each step is another one closer to making peace a reality.

The march is co-sponsored by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Kathy Witt said Anita Franklin helped in her office before her death.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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