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Minister Sammy L. Jackson of California hosted the "Lay Down Your Gun and Love Your Enemies" anti-violence rally July 1, 2017, in Melbourne. Palm Bay Police Chief James Rogers' message? "We're here for you." Video by Jennifer Sangalang, FLORIDA TODAY FLORIDA TODAY
MELBOURNE "More unity in community." That was the theme Saturday at Lipscomb Community Park for the "Lay Down Your Gun and Love Your Enemies" anti-violence and peace rally.
Hosted by minister Sammy L. Jackson of Christians Merging Together Ministries, the peace rally featured special guests Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan, Palm Bay Police Lt. Steve Bland, Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe, Palm Bay Police Chief James Rogers, and Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie. Several officers attended the rally as teens and children played basketball in the park and swam at the community pool.
The event was near and dear to Jackson, whose 17-year-old nephew Shaquille Farrie was fatally shot in the back as someone fired off rounds after a 2010 party along Randolph Street, which is near Lipscomb Park. No arrests were ever made in the case.
"I'm tired of winding up seeing young people getting killed," Jackson said. "A lot of them are saying 'no snitching.' Well, why are you not snitching? Many are dying. We have to do something."
Melbourne Youth rally calls for more love, fewer guns
Eva Sabiniano, 20, of Seattle traveled to MelbourneBuy Photo
Eva Sabiniano, 20, of Seattle traveled to Melbourne to perform in the "Lay Down Your Gun and Love Your Enemies" anti-violence and peace rally July 1, 2017. (Photo: JENNIFER SANGALANG/FLORIDA TODAY)
One of the most recent shootings involved Lipscomb Park, where three people were shot and left with minor injuries amid an Easter Sunday birthday celebration. No arrests were made.
Christian singer Eva Sabiniano, 20, traveled from Seattle with her parents, Eddie and Vivian Sabiniano, to perform at the rally. She helped found Born to Praise Ministry when she was 9.
The high attendance of law enforcement at the rally impressed Sabiniano.
"I'm glad that they're actually being a part of the community. To even just be here with their presence, it's really ... welcoming, and it gives the community peace," she said. "Loving on the community, that's awesome."
Billboards across Brevard to highlight Cocoa homicide
Other entertainers that attended include gospel artist Ms. NRich and the Real Dancing Preacher. Another "Lay Down Your Gun and Love Your Enemies" rally is set for Oct. 7 at the Daytona Beach Police Department.
Top quotes from the rally

"We want to stop the violence. We want to bring back our greatness in our community for all of the citizens in Melbourne and Palm Bay." Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan
"I've been trying to reach the community becausethere havebeen so many killings here. I lost a nephew here, so I really want to see changes here." Minister Sammy L. Jackson of California, who grew up in South Melbourne
"Cocoa, Melbourne, Palm Bay need the best and the brightest to be in uniform for you guys. ... The police departments need help, and we need people." Palm Bay Police Lt. Steve Bland
"We're building the community up and tearing down barriers so that we can work together. Especially not just in the community but in this community, where we just had 70 rounds that were fired just less than three months ago in this park. These are the things that we want to change." West Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie
"We all want to work better to make our communities, every community a safe community. ... We can't do it on our own. It's really a team effort. For the community to come out and the community to get involved, that's what really makes the difference." Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe
"In this community, the police and the community stand together. There's no separation here. None at all. So get on your Snap what is it called, SnapChat? Help me out. Insta-what? Instagram. Get on it! Get on that stuff. Send a message that the Palm Bay Police Department, Cocoa Police Department, the police departments of Brevard County are ready to stand together with you. We're here for you, and I hope that you are here for us." Palm Bay Police Chief James Rogers

Daytona Beach,FL Oct 7TH,2017
Posted By: Min Sammy Jackson
Monday, July 10th 2017 at 7:58PM
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