Mother speaks out at gun violence rally

Posted at 9:40 AM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 09:40:02-04

"It starts today. Right now."

Germaine Redding owns a South Lansing club and has worked in entertainment for 10 years, but, recently, he had a change of heart.

"The gun violence, we're not going to stand for it," Redding, who owns Fahrenheit Ultra Lounge on Cedar, said. "I'm going from a business to a gun violence activist to put a stop to it."

Now, he's using the club's parking lot to host an anti-gun violence rally. He also hopes to set a better example for his 16 -year-old son.

"So when he becomes an adult, he knows his dad stood up for the right thing and for the community," he said.

Monica Blackwell also came to the rally for her sons.

All three have been shot. One died from his injuries.

"This violence is too much for me. And it's time to stop it. It is just really time to stop," she said.

Her youngest son was shot inside Fahrenheit last weekend. He was released from the hospital in time for the rally.

"I'm just mad. I'm mad about guns being allowed in the clubs. I want answers. I want action," Blackwell said. "I'll do this as much as I have to. If that's what it takes for somebody to take notice and take action."

She says people don't want to come forward and tell the police when they witness shootings, so killers roam the streets unpunished.

"Open your mouth and let people know you don't want this kind of stuff happening in your community," she said. "That's the only way we're going to stop it."

Redding says if he can convince just one person to stand up to violence, he's done something.