Church Organizes Event to Combat Black on Black Crime


By Ashley Thompson

There have been 35 homicides so far in the city this year and most have been committed by black men and youths killing each other.
Now, members of a Montgomery church are trying to help with what they say is a growing problem.

Antavious Butler was shot and killed in his neighborhood just a few weeks ago. Tiffany Gibson says he was her nephew and tells us she's having a hard time dealing with the loss. She says her nephew's murder has forced her to recognize a disturbing trend in Montgomery.

"If you go back and look at all the crimes Montgomery has had right now, most of them are black on black," she says.

Black on black crime is nothing new but it does appear to be picking up steam in Montgomery. That's why Bishop Leo Lewis says he's organizing a three-day event, called Save the Black Seed, to talk about it and remember those who have fallen victim to violence.

"One dog tag will be given to the family and then another dog tag will be placed on a Cross that we're putting out as a memorial," he explains.

Bishop Lewis says he wants the event to start conversation about black on black crime. A phenomenon many are already talking about. Travis Murdock works at Black Dragon Tattoo Parlor in Montgomery. He tells us he believes several factors are creating crime in the black community.

"Single parents out here," he says. "You've got a lot of fathers that are in prison and a lot of guys out here that don't really got no role models."

And others tell us they worry the crime will continue to escalate.

"And they're coming out with all these crazy laws now that are just making it even worse," says Montgomery resident Darious Williams.  

"We're losing sight of what our ancestors fought for," says Gibson. 

So now some are calling on the church to move even more in the community.

"If there's no God in the community, in the school, in the home, then the heart, of course, is filled with wickedness and wickedness unfortunately has become the norm," says Bishop Lewis.

"I was a part of that violence back in the day but if you have God in your life, God can change that too," says Murdock.

If you've lost a loved one to violence, no matter when it can be a part of this memorial. Just call the Macedonia Miracle Kingdom and Worship Center at 284-8535. The event will be in September. Stay with Alabama News Network for more information.



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