“We’ve had it with the violence”: Rapid City neighborhood marches for peace
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Increased crime in a north Rapid City neighborhood has families and children, some under the age of ten, saying, “We’ve had it with the violence.” In the wake of gunshots ringing out through the neighborhood Thursday morning, they’re coming together to march with a unified message.
“There’s kids that want to play outside so they should stop,” said Mattayah Curry, an 11-year-old resident of north Rapid City.
Thursday morning, families off of Maple Avenue woke up to the sound of gunfire. No one was injured but residents say it’s an all too familiar sound.
“Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night hearing gunshots and people screaming,” said Melody Thunder Hawk, age 9.
“When the neighborhood, they see what’s going on and when they decide they’ve had enough, they decide they don’t want this around their kids anymore, the tables will turn and things will change,” said Tyler Read, Community Engagement Coordinator, Rapid City Police Department.
Drugs and weapons calls prevail in the area and have for years. In 2018, the Rapid City Police Department created a satellite office within the Knollwood Townhouse Apartments. That’s where Tyler Read spends his time, connecting with families in the neighborhood.
He says in the last several months, there’s been an uptick in the violence.
“The Lakota word for child is ‘Wakanjeja’, which is sacred gift,” said Read. “That’s what these children are and they don’t need to be around this much violence.”
On Friday the community came together to make signs and march for the change they want to see, saying they’ve had enough and they’re ready to heal.
“I’m just glad to see the community saying we’re going to take care of these kiddos, that’s what matters,” said Read.