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Topeka woman holds rally for young people to express the effects of gun violence

Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 6:19 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A local Topeka woman organized a “Make it Make Sense: Stop the Violence” rally at the state capitol on Saturday to bring attention to the toll of gun violence in the youth community.

Regina Platt’s 16 year old daughter was directly impacted by gun violence after losing a family member and friends.

Regina organized a gathering at the state capitol to give other young people a chance to express how gun violence affected them.

16 year old Onika Platt says life after losing loved ones to gun violence isn’t easy, “not only have I been affected by my uncle getting murdered, but I’ve had friends and family murdered.”

“Was at a point where she felt like she was breaking down after losing her uncle and several other friends throughout the city and we decided that we would do something,” Regina added.

Onika’s mother, Regina Platt wanted to bring people together at the state capitol giving them the chance to share their stories and how gun violence affected them.

“So to do something was to set foot on capitol grounds today and call forth our city to have the conversations we have not been having,” Regina explained.

Regina says this was a moment for grief, but also a time to come together, “we need to hear where their hurting at, we need to hear where they don’t feel apart of.”

Mother of 18 year old Justice Mitchell who was killed in 2017 was among the crowd, and she says the youth is most affected from gun violence.

“There was so many kids that was so affected just because how loved he was,” mother of Justice Mitchell, Angela Lee said.

“I was affected by that first and that hit hard,” Onika added.

Regina wants people to continue speaking up and showing support.

“We have young people who continue to die and we have no voices showing up to speak up for them,” Regina emphasized.

“Till I lost Justice, it really made me open my eyes that look what’s happening to our very community as we continue to lose kids at an alarming rate,” Lee said.

The conversation isn’t over, Regina plans to organize a youth focused event for them to express themselves through creative arts.

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