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San Diego leaders call for 'A Season of Peace'

Posted at 11:05 AM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 15:40:51-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Faith and community leaders and former gang members from across San Diego are calling on gangs to agree to “A Season of Peace.”

They're asking for no gunfire from Thanksgiving (Nov. 26) through January 1, 2021.

With the coronavirus disrupting traditional violence intervention efforts, there has been a rise in gang and gun violence. According to SANDAG's 2019 report on homicides in the San Diego region, a firearm was used in 55% of homicides. Also, firearms were used 100% of the time in gang-involved homicides.

Compared to mid-year 2019, there were a greater number of homicides -- 37% increase -- reported to law enforcement in the San Diego region from January to June of 2020. Since SANDAG reported on homicides for that time period, gun violence and homicides continue to rise.

During the Season of Peace campaign, community leaders will lead community walks of peace, organize street-side memorial services, ceasefire agreements with gang leaders, and host a tree planting in honor of those who've died because of community violence.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Community Assistant Support Team (CAST) will follow the advice of health officials, collaborate with law enforcement and politicians to ensure everyone's safety.

For the past eight years, CAST has brought quality community service to families impacted by gun violence with de-escalation support, conflict resolution, retaliation prevention, and in hospital spiritual care. CAST refers victims to social services to limit barriers that increase distress and unhealthy choices.