Dozens led marches through Dallas neighborhoods this weekend in hopes of taking a stance against gun violence.
The marches were led through six neighborhoods, organizer Marcus Estell said. They ended with a rally at Dallas City Hall around 1 p.m. Estell, a Pleasant Grove native, said he wanted to take action after hearing of too many lives cut short.
“This isn’t against the police. This isn’t against any politician. This is to the people. This is the shooters. I’m asking the people to come out and march,” Estell said.
Estell is the CEO of Original Good, an apparel company. He started the company with a man from south Dallas, who he described as a former rival gang member.
“When we came to our peace…I’ll call it, we came to our peace…we said we were going to create something that was going to be peaceful between our friends,” he said. “I believe that love is the perfect bond and unity. There’s strength in it.”
The city-wide marches and rallies come as police investigate a deadly shooting overnight Saturday by an Old East Dallas park. A 14-year-old was killed and a 19-year-old was hurt, according to the Dallas Morning News. Early Friday morning, Dallas police began investigating the deadly shooting of a 15-year-old gunned down in south Oak Cliff.
“We did a protest one time for a 4-year-old little girl who was shot in a drive-by. My inspiration comes from that. How can you be among the people and not be moved by that? We seem to be sticking to the “codes” that are kicking us in our own butts,” Estell said. “Kids are just falling and falling and falling.”
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The pain of losing a loved one to gun violence is one that Phezell Tisaby of Dallas understands all too well. Tisaby’s grandson Zkendrian Isaiah Jackson was killed in October 2020.
“With that young man murdering my grandson, he dismantled the whole family. My daughter, my grandson, and his siblings…they have never been the same,” Tisaby said. “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy to feel and to experience, because I have not been the same since the day I lost my grandson. That was my first grandchild. He was my first everything. God blessed me with him. He was robbed of his life.”
Tisaby said since her grandson’s death, she has been advocating for community members to take a stand against violence.
“Let’s lock arms if we can lock arms. We can ban a lot of the stuff that’s happening. We can stop this,” she said.
Estell pledged to make a difference through community events.
“I want to see my city prosper. I want to see my city head to the top. I don’t want to go to LA. I don’t want to go to New York. I don’t want to go to Florida, Miami. I live right here in Dallas,” he said. “I’m telling you, I love my city. I want my city to be one of the safest cities in America. If I can lead that march if I can lead it…then I will.”