Group uses funeral procession to spread anti-violence message - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Group uses funeral procession to spread anti-violence message

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One group is fed up with violence in the area so, they decided to take an unusual approach. Stop Throwing Rocks At the Penitentiary (S.T.R.A.P.) hosted an anti-violence rally in Brighton on Sunday. The rally started with a funeral procession. The founder of S.T.R.A.P., hopes this dramatic approach will get peoples' attention.

"When they see the hearse and they see chambers and they see the police, they know one thing, these folks are dead serious about reaching out to them."

Shepard's personal experience drives his anti-violence message.

"By me serving 15 years in prison and me being a recovering addict myself, I'm able to take a negative message and turn it into a positive message."

The funeral procession wrapped up at New Direction Ministries Church. At the church, hundreds gathered for a time of worship. The Assistant Pastor of the Church, Cedric King, said it's important for the church to get involved.

"For too long, a lot of ministries have sat back and watched their young people get killed. So I think it's time for us know as a ministry, as a church, as a church body to come together and support someone who's doing good for the young people."

Shepard said Sunday's rally is only the beginning of putting a stop to crime.

"I try to do things that will immediately captivate their attention. I learned through prison, I learned through working with other organizations that once we captivate their attention, then it's time to minister to them."

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