SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mother Overlooked Reaching Out Empowerment (known as MORE) are holding a series of vigils to call attention to unsolved murders and the families they affect.
“I wanted to try and get families together, to try and unite, so we can let the city officials know that we are tired and we need our children’s cases solved because all these murderers are just walking around,” said Juanita Batchelor, Executive Director of MORE.
This first vigil was held on the site where Reggie Dessasure was murdered one year ago and his family is still looking for answers. Since 2017 there have been approximately 40 unsolved homicides in the city of Springfield. Organizers hope these vigils unite families and inspire change.
“The humanity of these families are violated when the children don’t know who murdered their fathers and the city officials who are supposed to protect and serve, do not even reach out to let them know what’s going on,” added Minister Charles Stokes, member of MORE MEN.
Organizers would also like to see steps taken to prevent future violence in the Springfield community, like additional support for social services and improvements to the educational system.
“I’m just here… doing the right thing.. because I lost a loved one,” said MORE activist Jajuana Jenkins.
22News contacted the Springfield Police Department about this story and they stated the department has a 50 percent solve rate, which is the national average for mid-to-large size cities like Springfield.