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Local families honor national crime victims rights week

Local families are remembering loved ones who have been the victim’s of violent crime

Monday night, they gathered at The Landing for the “Tossing of the Roses” in hopes overcoming their tragic losses as part of National Crime Victims Rights Week.

"Everybody says take it day by day, I take it second by second," says Rosie Brooks-White, the mother of Sahara Barkley who was murdered on New Year's Day at a Riverside gas station.

A picture can say a thousand words, and many pictures spoke volumes for family members including Michael Liles, the widower of Debbie Liles.

The beloved elementary school music teacher was brutally beaten to death a year ago. He is now the executive director of the Justice Coalition which advocates for innocent victims of violent crime.

“There are days that are harder than others,” says Liles.

According to our records there were more than 100 homicides in Jacksonville last year, JSO says there were 106 in 2016.

As for Brooks-White, she’s still seeking closure, but says the rose toss helps.

“I’m more at peace now," said Brooks-White.

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