Leslie Reddick appeared before the Birmingham City Council today to ask everyone in Birmingham to do their part to stop violence. Reddick's son, Larry, was killed in 2000.
BIRMINGHAM, AL -
In the midst of a rash of violence in Birmingham, a woman whose son was killed 13 years ago reached out to the Birmingham City Council to plead for help to stop the violence.
Leslie Reddick's son, Larry, was killed in 2000, but having nine killings in one week, and about 12 in two weeks, has brought her pain back to the surface.
Reddick said her son's memory is the reason she reached out to the council to ask everyone in Birmingham to do their part to stop violence.
"That is my reason for being here. Like I told them, this here is my past. This is my past. He's gone. I can't bring him back. This is my future, my grandchildren, and the other young men that stand out there that's getting killed," she explained.
Reddick said the recent killings in Birmingham have affected her strongly. "I've been having dreams. I can't sleep. God said 'You got to challenge them,'" she said.
Above all, she's asking people in Birmingham to forgive. She did it when she came face to face with the man who took her son's life.
"I've found peace with him. I forgive him. And I love him," she said. "God says we got to forgive. Whatever went on, he hated this day, what he did. I'm quite sure he wishes he could handle it a little better. I'm not sure what went on. I'm sure he wishes he could handle it a little better."
A better way, she feels, than holding grudges. When asked how she found it in her heart to love the man who killed her son, Reddick replied, "I love the Lord. And I done went through some things, and God forgave me.
"It's not about me, it's not even bout me being on your TV. It's about doing God's work."
She hopes that by stepping into the public eye, she can stop even one more person from suffering the same fate as her son.