Hundreds of students from all over central Arkansas marched near North Little Rock High School’s West Campus last Friday in a late afternoon rally called Stop the Violence. Led by North Little Rock sophomore Greg Fudge who asked teenagers to stand up to the violence that killed his classmate, Jasmine Young, 17, while she sat in her mother’s car at a Little Rock convenience store on Jan. 30. Fudge, the sophomore class president said the march was important to him and Jasmine’s classmates.
“Once I found out she had died, I decided that we were going to take a stand and that we weren’t going to let violence destroy our neighborhood anymore.”
“She was very special. She had a real plan,” he said. “She had her life. She was ready for the world.”
Young’s parents participated in the march riding in specially designed golf carts leading the way.
Before the march which covered a few blocks south of the school campus, a rally was held on the school steps where Fudge and Mayor Joe Smith used a megaphone to speak to the crowd and to encourage them to continue to pursue their nonviolent efforts to stop the violence that permeates the teen community.
Fudge spoke about Young’s plans for life, her potential and how it was wiped out while she sat in a car at a convenience store, not a participant but a bystander to the violent use of guns which he said hurts the innocent like her.
Fudge urged students to choose peace rather than violence.
Aldermen Beth White and Steve Baxter walked in the march to show their support of the students who chose the non-violent response to this horrible tragedy.
Students marched carrying white crosses in memory of Young while others carried signs lamenting her early demise. Other students caried signs promoting peace and non-violent actions.
Little Rock police have arrested three in conjunction with Young’s death, including a 17- year-old male.
Security was heavy for the event with several uniformed and non-uniformed North Little Rock police officers in attendance on duty. Several other off-duty officers were there to support the students as were a few community leaders