Arkansas AAU Football League rallies to stop the violence

Families and football players rallied together on the steps of the state capitol to stand up to violence. The Arkansas AAU football league teamed up with the "Stop the Violence" campaign in hopes of drawing attention to the violence in the Little Rock area.

Former Cowboys player, now AAAU football commissioner, Reggie Swinton led the rally Sunday.

"This is where I grew up and I love it very dearly," Swinton said. "I've seen so many of my friends get killed and I don't want to see the youth of today especially my children."

Swinton said the league planned the rally three weeks ago.

James Cain, one of the AAAU organizers, said this event was imperative to teach the players about taking care of their own community.

"I was always raised if you can't take care of home, you can't take care of somewhere else.We have to acknowledge the problems going on here in our community and that way we can take it and help other communities, " Cain said.

According to the FBI, in 2012, Little Rock had the second highest murder rate among small cities. Averaging 23 murders per 100,000 people in Little Rock.

Cain said violence seems to be escalating much quicker that it was when he was growing up.

"Back then when you argued you talked it out, you argued but then you shook hands, now no one wants to talk problems out anymore. They think violence is the way and it's not."

Swinton said the rising crime is affecting everyone.

"Crime is crime, nobody wants to get that phone call. No parent does. I don't care what color, what nationality you are, let's as men do something about it."

The AAAU hopes that more organizations promote the "Stop the Violence" initiative.

Editors note: Reggie Swinton played for Murray State not University of Arkansas.