Teens march against violence on the east side on Saturday

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Teens on the east side are standing up against violence after losing two friends in a shooting back in May.

“This violence is too much,” said 17-year-old Brandon Warren, who is a senior at Warren Central. “I see it too much.”

Warren says he's seen enough, especially after his friend and football teammate Dijon Anderson was killed back in May. Another Warren Central teen, Angel Mejia, died in that same shooting.

“It really struck me that we have to do something,” said Warren. “There's been a lot of mourning, grieving, a lot of ups and downs but I feel like we're really trying to come together as a city.”

That's what Warren wanted to do: come together. He and his classmates came up with an idea to start a group called “We LIVE Indy.” It means they're "Linked to Intercept Violence Everywhere" -- a call for peace from the teens who see the aftermath in their classrooms.

“Going to school, seeing that the next day, everyone crying, everyone sad, it made me want to cry even though I didn't know him because it's sad,” said Rama Soumare, who is a senior at Warren Central. “It's a tragedy. I just kept thinking, ‘what if that was my brother?’ Something does need to happen and it's not just a problem at our school.”

They marched from Washington Park to the juvenile center, with those teens front and center.

“Just having a young man who is in high school saying, ‘I want to lead this charge on youth violence,’ it spoke to our heart and our soul,” said Brandon Randall, who is the community liaison and youth advocate chair with Don’t Sleep. “We were like, ‘let us know how we can help.’”

When Warren came up with the idea in the spring, he got in touch with people from "Don't Sleep." They're proud to see these teens step up and start a movement.

“You have young people in this community,” said Randall. “We just need to support them and empower them to reach that full potential.”

Many of the marchers turned out with number 3's painted on their faces in honor of Anderson’s number on the football field. Even with heavy hearts, they still have hope for the future.

“I hope they walk away educated, I hope they walk away aware,” said Warren. “I hope they walk away with some action because we can't have progress without action.”

Warren says he wants this movement to grow and include more schools from more cities, even across the country.

To find out more about what they're doing, click here -- > https://www.weliveindy.com/.