Santa Cruz County

Grieving families, community members march for violent crime victims

3rd annual march in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz County Crime Victims march

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Gathering at the only place in Santa Cruz County where justice can officially be served and closure realized, a crowd of friends and families joined together, still feeling the pain of violent crimes.

It's national victims' rights week and for the third straight year Santa Cruz hosted a victims' rights march.

On they marched to City Hall.

Kat Hill left the steps of the courthouse still wondering what exactly happened in the death of her son, Ronald.

"I won't know anything exactly until Aug. 25th," Hill said referring to a court date.

She said it's been three years since Ronald was beaten to death. His alleged killer still sits in jail.

"We've been waiting for a long time for closure," she said.

Although District Attorney Bob Lee said convictions of criminals are high in this county, his office can only do so much.

"We have more cases than we have attorneys that can handle them," Lee said.

Violent crimes dropped for the last 19 years, nationwide, according to Lee.

"Every step forward we take is one less victim," he said.

Take Back Santa Cruz, a community watch group, organized the butterfly exhibit across the street from City Hall. Each butterfly represents a victim of a violent crime and each color signifies a different crime.

Homicide is represented by white butterflies.  There have been 50 homicides county-wide in the last three years.

One of these white butterflies represents Hill's son.

"I want him to be remembered for the caring, loving person that he was," she said.

The reason they chose the butterfly is to symbolize transformation to change the future to prevent violent crimes.

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