DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - An emotional anti-violence rally was held Thursday in Delray Beach. The community is pleading with witnesses to help police end the kind of violence that lead to three shootings in the city last Thursday.
Delray Beach police now say all three shootings were related. Detectives know the people responsible but unless they can get some more help from witnesses making any arrests will be extremely difficult. Thats what Thursday's rally was all about.
"There's a culture within the community where nobody wants to tell on anyone" said Prentice Mobley, a Delray Beach city employee and rally organizer.
"It's very personal because this is my city. I raised my daughter here, I was raised here" Mobley said.
And it's no secret who's responsible for much of Delray's violent crime according to police.
"There's two groups that seem to be battling back and forth" said Police Chief Jeff Goldman.
"They're not gangs though. They're not doing it because they're running drugs or they're running guns, it's just two local Delray families," Goldman said.
It's been going on for years and silence allows it to continue.
"If it had been an officer the community would have had that officer nailed to the cross already," said former Delray Beach police officer Rose Newbold as she stood at the podium addressing the crowd at Thursday's rally.
"When it's black-on-black crime everybody shuts down. They refuse to say anything as far as solving these crimes. If we don't fix this, this is gonna get bigger and bigger and bigger," Newbold said.
One thing evident from the crowd is that no one wants to see a repeat of last week's violence.
"You know I look at the young men that got killed recently, that's me. When I see them I see me. I think it's my duty to take it personal and try to do something about it," Mobley said.
Chief Goldman said he knows some people with information don't want to step forward because because they're scared.
He wants to make sure witnesses and anyone with information can know they can remain anonymous. Chief Goldman says anyone with information can call 561-243-7800.