Though it's been almost two years since 7-year-old Amaia Edmond's murder, her father is still fighting to keep the streets safer.
"My goal is to bring peace to the community, and keep bringing more
people out," John Edmond said. "Because unfortunately, there will be other people that lose their lives, unfortunately, to homicides. And there will be other families that feel the grief we feel."
More than one hundred people joined Edmond's march for P.E.A.C.E, the Police Enforcement and Community Engagement initiative. They hope to raise awareness for youth violence, particularly homicide, by bridging the gap between police officials and the public. Lansing Police Captain Daryl Green said his force depends on that partnership.
"Many times children are victims of crimes," Captain Green said. "And so we want to increase the communication levels with our youth, because we want them to give us the information. Let us know if they're having problems out there, so we can help."
Captain Green said it's the 16-24 age group they are most concerned about.
Mayor Virg Bernero also marched. He said preventing youth violence starts at home.
"A lot of the problem is parenting, let's face it," Mayor Bernero said. "It's the uncles, the parents, the neighbors, taking time out to get involved. That's what's going to turn things around. It's not going to be police alone."
P.E.A.C.E. wants to work with the mayor and police department to set up neighborhood watch programs where ones don't yet exist. In the meantime, Edmond knows Amaia would be proud of his efforts.
"She's smiling down right now," Edmond said. "She's with me, she's with all of us. Everybody that's lost a loved one, they're with them too. They're right here with us. So, we gotta keep them in our hearts."