Local faith leaders walk the streets for peace after officer-involved shooting

Published: Jul. 24, 2019 at 11:10 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -It’s been one week since a Birmingham Police officer was shot in the line of duty. Wednesday, local faith leaders sounded a call for peace in the city during an emotional event downtown.

Faith in Action, Alabama’s peacemaker campaign, is made up of local pastors and residents who took to the streets, walking the route where the shooting took place. The group paused every so often to take a moment of silence for everyone involved, including where Roderick Wilson, the suspect who police say fired at officers, was shot and killed.

“Birmingham is dealing with a situation of a city with a sick soul,” Onoyemi Williams, one of the organizers said.

Those in the faith community are hoping walks like these help heal the city.

“We teach about it. We preach about it. We sing about it this but it’s time to put boots on the ground,” Pastor Gregory Clarke of Birmingham’s New Hope Baptist Church said.

For nearly two years, Pastor Clarke has been leading peace walks like these, in some of the most dangerous parts of the city. Pastor Clarke says his peacekeeping street ministry is growing and working.

“We are all working together and standing together, to help make a difference in whatever is needed to be done to solve this issue so our city can grow,” Clarke said.

Williams is wearing a shirt that says “Hope Dealer”. She says hope is an addiction that more people need to get hooked on.

“It’s going to take everybody in the community to take on this sickness that’s plaguing our city and work on ways that will help to heal the soul,” Williams said.

The group is also calling on anti-violence efforts that are working in other cities, to come to Birmingham. They are challenging city leaders to do more to stop the violence.

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