Dozens of Trenton residents marched through the city with faith leaders and survivors on Sunday to demand solutions to gun violence and what some called violence inflicted by the government. “I don’t know if y’all heard, but Trenton is officially the murder capital of New Jersey,” said Erich Kussman, pastor at St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church. Kussman spoke to a crowd of about 40 people outside of the church on South Clinton Avenue before they marched through the city’s southeastern wards. “Gun violence has become endemic in our communities,” he said.
In 2020, the murder rate in New Jersey’s capital city was 68.2 per 100,000, placing it in the top 10 among all U.S. cities, per The Center Square. Only one other N.J. city made the top 50: Atlantic City. Things didn’t get better last year, when Trenton recorded the same number of homicides: 40 people killed. Charlene Walker, executive director of Faith In New Jersey, the interfaith nonprofit that organized the march to coincide with Palm Sunday, told WHYY News she believes local and county officials need to allocate more government funding toward violence interventions, wraparound services, and trauma-based care.