'We are tired of it': Clergy, Philadelphia Police call for peace in Southwest Philly prayer walk
SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA - There was a call for peace Thursday night after a 16-year-old was murdered, the latest in a string of shootings of children and teens in Philadelphia’s ongoing gun violence.
People are angry and heartbroken and just want it to stop.
Southwest Philadelphia area clergy hit the streets to pray for peace. Shouting directly at a group of young men standing on a Southwest Philadelphia corner, the group of 12th District Philadelphia Police Chaplains and church pastors are simply fed up with the violence.
"I’m speaking to everybody because we are just tired of it. We are tired of it. Kids are dying on the corner, kids are dying in the community, kids being shot up in the stores, kids being shot up in the schoolyards. Enough is enough!" Marcia Pack, with Crusaders for Christ Evangelistic Church exclaimed.
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Pastor Beverly Clayburn, of Straight Gate Church, added, "When it seems like it’s leveling off, we turn around and here we go again."
Again, Thursday, hours earlier, just 13 blocks away from the prayer walk, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed on the 5300 block of Gray’s Avenue. The Philadelphia School Board held a moment of silence for that boy Thursday night, the 23rd Philadelphia school student to be killed this school year.
"Unfortunately, today is a day that happened, but it gives us a chance to recalibrate what we’re doing as public servants and it reinforces what we’re trying to do," Captain Joseph Green stated.
Along the journey, the group stopped and prayed with a woman whose husband was killed on that corner last month. Also, stopping to pray for a newborn baby boy will never become a victim of violence.
"They’re walking through here, praying for people. We need prayer in this world. That’s good. It touched my heart, she prayed for my baby and prayed for my son," Deja Taylor said.
The group of clergy would be the first to admit the continued pain and suffering of gun violence in their neighborhood gets discouraging. But, it also gives them more resolve and more motivation to keep spreading their message.