14:30 GMT25 January 2020
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    The high number of violent deaths in the United States every year requires action to reduce them, Baltimore City Councilman and 300 Man March co-founder Brandon Scott told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The 300 Man March is a Baltimore-based movement that aims to highlight the violence in the city and the United States.

    "We are operating in a state of emergency… People are dying at record numbers," Scott said on Monday.

    On Sunday, dozens of protestors finished a 35-mile march that started from Baltimore to Washington, DC, to address the rising surge of violence in the Maryland city.

    Demonstrators played music and carried signs saying "We must stop killing each other," and "We care for our communities… Do something."

    Scott explained that the 300 Men March movement has developed an Emergency Operating Plan to reduce the number of homicides in Baltimore by 50 percent in one year.

    "Direct interaction is how you do it… Taking a young man who may be the perpetrator or the victim of that violence and turning them into something," Scott said.

    The group pays youths for their participation and sends volunteers to neighborhoods to help its residents, but without any coordination with law enforcement.

    "When we’re in a neighborhood, we ask the police not to be there so we can really do what we need to do," Scott noted.

    Baltimore Youths Engaged in Programs to Reduce Violence

    The 300 Man March movement works closely with communities to engage youth and minimize gun violence, activist Sean Stinnett told Sputnik during a protest to raise awareness about violence.

    “We have a Street Engagement Unit… We’ve been in several communities over the years,” Stinnett said on Monday.

    Stinnett explained that the Street Engagement Unit strikes up conversation with youth in urban neighborhoods, directing them to steer away from violence by organizing activities to involve them in.

    “We see some kids, riding their bikes… We see them playing, throwing the football around… We kind of pass out information as well… Just have some conversations with them,” Stinnett added.

    Baltimore has seen a surge of violence since protests broke out following the death of 25-year-old African-American Freddie Gray due to a spinal cord injury received while in police custody in April 2015.

    Baltimore has suffered 238 homicides since the beginning of 2015, according to the Baltimore Sun.

    The 300 Man March is a Baltimore-based movement that aims to highlight the violence in the city and the United States.

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