KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Seven barbershops in Kansas City gave free haircuts Sunday as part of Operation Ceasefire, a grassroots effort aimed at encouraging a weekend free of gun violence in the Kansas City area.
Many community members took up the offer and heard a message of nonviolence in the process.
For some communities, the barbershop is a place to connect with others and strive to change it for the better. That's what this group of barbers aimed to do in conjunction with Operation Ceasefire.
"When you talk about ceasefire, like during war time, when they say ceasefire, that means stop shooting," Brooklyn Kutz owner Chris Swinton said. "Let's stop shooting and start thinking about why we are shooting."
The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department worked its 68th homicide of 2018 on Sunday afternoon, 55.8 percent of which are black males. These barbers said they just want others to know there is more to life.
"I am a black man in the community and it's hard for us already," SurrCutts Barbershop owner Ryan Surratt said. "You have to set an example for people to let them know that it is possible for you to do something besides crime."
These men hope to inspire other to make more positive decisions.
"I hope what they get is, when you look better, you feel better," Swinton said. "Hopefully, it will change collectively all of us, all of our barbershops and everyone is doing it on the same page for the same reason. Things have to change eventually."
While the movement set out to have a weekend free of gun violence, it didn't stop the homicides. Deandrea Vine, 27, was found Saturday morning stabbed to death outside her home.
There was a fatal shooting Sunday afternoon near 51st Street and Swope Parkway.
Vine's mom said one solution that could help is communication.
"Maybe there is a way to get all to communicate better," Vine's mother, Kelly Jackson, said. "You know, how you don't know or you just don't understand what they're saying, and you get frustrated. Then, you do some violent things."
A friend of Vine's set up a GoFundMe page
Here is the link to Vine's GoFundMe Page set up by a friend. https://www.gofundme.com/deandrea-vine