WXXI AM News

A memorial quilt for the victims of violence in Rochester

Sep 25, 2018

Lentory Johnson and the "Mothers' Quilt"
Credit Alex Crichton

Members of the religious community and mothers who have lost their children to gun violence say they are sick and tired of all the shootings and murders in the city of Rochester.

They are making a collective call to engage the faith community to reclaim their neighborhoods, and to have county lawmakers pass gun storage legislation.

The Rev. Lewis Stewart joined several women at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church to urge religious leaders of all faiths to reclaim their neighborhoods.

"Engage people on your block through community outreach ... come out of your insular four walls ... help to prevent violence from occurring," he said.

Rev. Lewis Stewart wants religious leaders to reclaim their neighborhood block
Credit Alex Crichton

The group also displayed the "Mothers' Quilt," which is a memorial to the victims of gun violence.

A picture of Lentory Johnson's son is on that quilt.

He was shot and killed outside the Boys and Girls Club in 2015.

Johnson says it's important to put a face on the many victims of gun violence.

"These people existed. And they're missed, by families and friends and children and siblings.  So to me, it was important that we give face to them," she said.

Among other things, the group is calling for passage of a proposal introduced by County Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell, which would require gun owners to store their weapons in a safe, or put on locking devices.

That proposal hasn't yet been formally introduced.

They also want law enforcement to stem the flow of drugs and stolen guns into the black and brown community.

Lentory Johnson says children today are being traumatized by gun violence:

A look at the Mothers' Quilt: