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Fighting Back Against Violence

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Amanda Brown lives just around the corner from where two people were gunned down earlier this month. She couldnt agree more with Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman when he said that, "Without accurate, factual information, we can't go forward with filing a charge."

"Well I think people that know things need to come forward and tell, said Brown.

When shots rang out just a few hundred feet from her house, she made sure her children were safe before looking out the upstairs windows.

By then, the police were already there and the suspects were already gone.

"So if we could have looked immediately, we might have been able to see something and I feel like of bad about that, said Brown.

She says if she had seen anything, she would have gone right to the police. But Stop the Violence Iowa movement founder Monica Simpson says not everyone is as brave as Amanda.

"This is just my opinion and I've heard it from other people, they just don't trust the police department, said Simpson.

The Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association says its seen that before.

"We've had neighbors approach me and ask if I would anonymously submit a tip for them, and we're more than open to doing that, said the President of the Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association Justin Wasson.

But Monica says the key is grassroots movements that work with the action that the city wants to take, but have events for people of all ages that only a neighborhood can put on.

"Because if they're surrounded by negativity and they don't know any better, they're going to turn to violence, they're going to turn to drugs, said Simpson.

"We understand that a strong community is more likely to talk and be proactive at trying to solve crime and create a safer neighborhood, said Wasson.

Community leaders add that keeping everyone safe ends with the police, but it starts with the people.
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