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Coaches organize march to end violence: We’re trying to get teens on productive path

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RICHMOND, Va. -- After Richmond began 2016 with five people killed over just seven days, a group of youth coaches say there must be something people can do to end the violence.

And they aren't about to sit and wait for someone else to solve the problem. The coaches have organized marches to raise awareness and provide an outlet for those impacted by the tragedies.

 Saturday's Coaches Against Violence march

Saturday's Coaches Against Violence march

Police are still investigating his murder of 18-year-old Traquan Holmes. The teen was shot to death in Creighton Court on Christmas Eve.

The 2015 Armstrong High School graduate was one of nearly a dozen people killed in greater Richmond in the past month.

Now citizens are standing up, by the dozens, to say the community can do better.

Coaches Maurice Tyler and Rodney Leeper started Coaches Against Violence to send the message that young people can resolve their conflicts without resorting to violence.

"We care about what happens in our city and we're trying to just reach these teens to just, you know, try to get them on a productive path,” Tyler said.

Maurice Tyler

Maurice Tyler

The first march was days after the fatal shooting of 12 year-old Amiyah Moses on the city's North Side and the day before someone shot Traquan Holmes to death near his East End home.

Organizers said they are seeing more marchers with every outing -- and they say they're just getting started.

"We love our city of Richmond, Virginia. We love the kids that's in it. We love the adults that's in it. And from now on, right...this is what we're gonna do to show... the best is yet to come," Tyler said.

March participant holds a sign that reads "It Hit Home!"

March participant holds a sign that reads "It Hit Home!"

Richmond police were among those marching for peace Saturday as well as members of car and motorcycle clubs.

Coaches Against Violence said it will take everyone, including spiritual leaders, parents and mentors to show young people that there is a better way. And they plan to keep marching until that happens.

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