‘We’re trying to make a change:’ Friends of murder victim march against violence

Ruth Davenport, Metro Halifax
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Friends and family of homicide victim Kaylin Diggs walk over the MacDonald bridge as part of Stop the Violence, Spread the Love March on Sunday in Dartmouth. (Jeff Harper)

The friends of a young man who died after a scuffle in downtown Halifax say they’re hopeful their annual anti-violence march inspires other young people to choose a different path.

Dozens of people came out for the second annual Stop the Violence march on Sunday, organized by friends of homicide victim Kaylin Diggs. The march began in Dartmouth and crossed over the Macdonald Bridge into Halifax.

“I have many cousins who have died due to violence so it’s in honour of…all those that are passed,” said march co-founder Quentrel Provo. “Violence is violence and it’s happening all over the world, so I hope people will see that we’re trying to make a change.”

Diggs, 26, died Aug. 11, 2012 during an altercation after he stepped in to help a friend who was being assaulted. Officers found Diggs lying on the ground at Argyle and Sackville streets just before 4 a.m., and he died soon afterwards in hospital.

Matthew Thomas, the youth pastor at New Beginnings Ministries, said he’s hoping that seeing people like himself and Provo organizing positive community events will make an impression on young people.

“I hope they’ll see that they have the power and ability to be the change they’re seeking,” said Thomas, who was a close friend of Diggs. “I hope they can see that representation of young brothers that look like them but have chosen to live an honest life.”

Halifax Regional Police Supt. Jim Perrin took part in the march, as did Mayor Mike Savage.

“We have to come together and we have to make a difference,” said Savage. “We all have to put our shoulder to the wheel, we all have a responsibility to make sure that we can live in peaceful societies.”

Diggs’ homicide has been added to the Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program. Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers. –Metro Halifax

Organizations: Rewards for Major, Crime Stoppers

Geographic location: Halifax, Dartmouth, Provo

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