Community holding ‘Stop the Violence’ rally in response to Riverchase Galleria shooting

Local News

HOOVER, Ala (WIAT) — Herman Henderson, the president of the ‘Stop the Violence’ organization in Birmingham, is calling for change.

Henderson said at 5 p.m. Tuesday, he’s calling for faith leaders and elected officials to stand together against gun violence. Henderson said they’re meeting outside the Belk department store at the Riverchase Galleria.

Henderson said the shooting on Friday at the Galleria shouldn’t have happened, and too many senseless acts of violence are happening. He said something must be done.

“We got to find program to reach our young African American men. We got to find a way to not only pull their pants up but we have to go in to our 99 communities and reach the mothers, the parents because the parents have to realize we are destroying a generation and soon we won’t have any young African American men left,” Henderson said.

Henderson said there are too many shootings happening within Black communities and it takes away from the message of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“It takes away the message when you have other reformations out there fighting with us, for us, for justice. Then when these other reformations and nationalities and ethnic groups see us out there fighting, for Black lives matter,and then all of a sudden we don’t value our own life. It takes away from the message. It makes my job much harder,” he said. “You can go out there and protest months after months that Black lives matter and you see Black folks killing each other everyday and you can’t send a march through the city on African Americans killing one another. There’s something wrong with that.”

Henderson said the killing of 8-year-old Royta Giles, Jr is sad and hopefully, this event will be a wake-up call to some and save future lives.

“Lets move it a step further: what are we going to do for the next baby,” he asked. “The next child, the next black male that has to grow up in neighborhood, watching guns in his community, watching our boys gang banging, what is the solution? What is the plan? What do we put forth to make sure it takes a whole village to raise one child?”

Henderson said he hopes faith leaders and elected officials start going into the Birmingham neighborhoods and reaching out to the younger generation, helping them on the road to success.


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