UNION — The recent incidents of murder and attempted murder along with other crimes of violence will be subject of an anti-violence march through the streets of Union and rally on the steps of the Union County Courthouse on Saturday.
The “Walk against Crime … Stop the Violence” walk/rally is being sponsored by Urban Achievements for Youth Education, the Action Network of Union County, the Jonesville-based Men of Action, and the Urban League of the Upstate. The groups had planned to hold the event in early 2013, but organizer Robert Hill said recent events had convinced the groups of the need to move up the demonstration to Saturday.
Those events included the Aug. 4 attempted murder of Union man who was fired upon while sitting in his car in a parking lot at a local nightclub and again as he followed his attackers on the Lockhart Highway.
Four Chester men — Tevin Deonta Fair, Kiama Hason Sanders, Cedric Jamaris Brown and Najahwan Abdul Woodard — are charged by the sheriff’s office with attempted murder in the incident. They are also charged with discharging a firearm at a vehicle, unlawful carrying of a handgun, simple possession of marijuana, and open container.
Fair, Sanders, and Woodard are also charged with minor in possession of beer.
Fair, Sanders, and Woodard are currently being held in the Union County Jail after being denied bond during a hearing in August.
Brown was granted bond, but only on the condition that he not return to Union County except for court or to work, that he be in his home in Chester by 6 p.m. every day except when working, and that he have no contact with the victim.
Another incident that persuaded the group to move up their demonstration was an Aug. 4 incident in which 17-year-old Dequan Jones was shot and killed and a 20-year-old man wounded in the Lukesville Road area of Buffalo.
Three Carlisle men — Chadrick Harold Johnson, Devonta Elemeshion Mobley and Daveus Lamonte Boler — and one Union man — Danny Ray Gossett — are charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with murder, attempted murder, malicious injury and discharging a firearm into a dwelling in the incident.
All four men remain in jail, including Johnson and Mobley who were denied bond last week.
In denying bond for Fair, Sanders and Woodard, the judge cited the continuing tensions between a group of young men in Union and groups in Carlisle and Chester. The tensions between the Union and Carlisle groups were also cited during the bond hearings for Johnson and Mobley.
While these incidents persuaded the sponsors of the walk/rally to move it up from 2013 to Saturday, Hill said the event will not just be about them, but all the acts of violence that are plaguing Union County. He said the public is encouraged to take part in the event and show their support for the victims of crimes such as assault, home invasions, rape, child abuse, elderly abuse, bullying, and domestic violence. Hill said the goal of the walk/rally is promote awareness of the problems of violence in Union County and mobilize the public to “take back our communities and our youth.”
Marchers are asked to assemble at the old Sims High School at 9 a.m. The march will begin at 10 a.m. and follow a route that includes Horseshoe Circle and South Boulevard, Pinckney and West Henrietta streets, Lipsey and Porter streets and Gage Avenue, and South Herndon Street.
While the march will be through the streets of the Chambertown community of Union and the surrounding area, Hill said it is hoped that more anti-violence marches will be held in the future in other parts of the county.
Saturday’s march will end at the courthouse with a rally with speakers addressing the realities of violence, especially as it relates to youth.
Hill said the speakers will include Dr. Corinthian Stacks, pastor of Bethany AME Church in Union and an employee of the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia; Jack Logan, president of “Put Down the Gun Young People;” Tracy Fant Young of “thinktwice2x.org;” and three students from Urban Achievements for Youth Education.
On Thursday, Hill said a speaker from “Stop Th’ Violence” out of Newport New, Va., would also address the rally.
For more information about the Walk against Crime … Stop the Violence walk/rally, contact Robert Hill at (864) 466-5988 or Randy Smith at (864) 884-5134.