MEMPHIS,Tenn. — It’s no secret that 2020 has just been a violent year for Memphis.
The city has already reached well over 200 homicides breaking the record set in 2016.
There’s been many peace rallies speaking out against the violence and Sunday a different group used their platform for peace.
The local funeral professionals say they want to show the city that they’re standing together in the push against violence.
With a group of hearses and motorcycles, they spread this message in South Memphis, North Memphis, Frayser, Hickory Hill, Orange Mound and Whitehaven.
“We capitalize on death but we’re tired of burying our young people,” said Quinton Taylor, President of the Bluff City Funeral Directors and Morticians Association.
With the nature of his profession, Quinton Taylor said he knows a family’s loss could mean business for him.
Still, he said this hasn’t made him numb to the pain these losses bring.
Taylor’s fellow funeral professionals drove through the city for what was called a Funeral Homes Against Urban Violence parade.
The message? Taylor said it’s simple.
“Letting the city know that’s enough,” he said. “We’re tired of burying our young people, crime victims that’s being lost to crime.”
Though the message is simple, Taylor said the solution is NOT.
“It starts with us. We can sit back and talk about it but until we get out in the street, make our voice heard, then I think a difference will be made,” he told FOX13.
Taylor said local funeral directors are calling on support from the city, church and community leaders.
Taylor said a similar parade was held back in 2006, a violent year for the city.
He said it doesn’t compare to the loss the city has seen in a record-breaking 2020, especially with young people.
“When I was younger it was more older people passing because of illness,” he said. “Now you turn on the news, every day all day, someone is being killed by some type of violence. It May not just be gun violence but just some type of violence.”
Taylor hopes Sunday’s parade is a positive addition in a continued effort across the city to speak out against violence.
He has a message to the families and friends who these efforts are for.
“We are standing with you,” he shared. “We have sympathy and empathy with you. We are praying for you and with you and I want you to know that God will see you through.”
Taylor said the plan is to hold another parade in the spring.
He said a parade was recently held in Arkansas, but he’s hoping to have one in Mississippi as well.
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