BROOKLYN — An anti-violence march started by slain city councilman James E. Davis will enter its 20th year on Saturday, a decade after the Brooklyn politician was murdered by a political rival inside the City Council chambers.
The "Love Yourself, Stop the Violence" peace walk was started by Davis and his younger brother Geoffrey Davis in 1993 to help combat violence in central Brooklyn, the younger Davis said
"We got involved to heal the community, to develop the community, and it's worked," Davis said.
Every year Davis and a group of marchers walk through the neighborhood chanting the slogan his brother came up with, "love yourself, stop the violence," encouraging others along the way to join and spread the message.
This year's anniversary march will begin at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy and ends at the James E. Davis Multicultural Museum of Peace, a small museum run by Davis in his brother's honor, within the house the two grew up in, at 298A Brooklyn Ave. in Crown Heights.
This year also represents the anniversary of Davis's death, 10 years ago on July 24, at the hands of Othniel Askew, a political rival who had planned to challenge Davis for his seat on the council.
Shortly before the council session was about to start, Davis escorted Askew into the building, bypassing metal detectors. Once inside, at 2:08 p.m., Askew pulled out a .40-caliber pistol and started firing, hitting Davis in the torso. Askew was then gunned down by a City Hall police officer.
The younger Davis says the memory of that day still haunts him ten years later.
"I'm hurting something terrible, and it's sad at times," Davis said. "He believed in this. Every ounce of him. All the way down to his DNA. His core."
But Davis also said he continues the work that he and his brother began in order to honor his legacy.
"It's bigger than us, and it has to keep going," Davis said. "My brother's work, dream, vision and ideas can continue to live, because i'm here."
The James E. Davis Foundaiton's "Love Yourself, Stop the Violence" walk takes place on Saturday, at 2 p.m. The march starts at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Fulton Street.