Families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake join Memphis leaders for call to end gun violence

Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 10:25 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On the eve of Martin Luther King Day, Memphis leaders of all kinds gathered at the Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church to speak on gun violence in the city.

The event was called “Let our Children Live,” a reference to the over two dozen child homicides in Memphis and the hundreds across the country in 2021.

With the help of leaders from multiple fronts coming together, organizers hope everyone is brought to the same page to make a plan for a safer 2022.

“We’re just asking for a change within our community by partnering up with our great leaders in our city, with pastors, that feel that same way I feel,” said Michael Dockery, the event’s organizer.

That feeling is to make the Bluff City a safe city, at the very least for its kids.

Dockery who helped organize the event brought together local and state political leaders, pastors and even family members of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake.

“They all agreed to come in and joins what I call the good fight to help us bring awareness that we have to do something to save our babies’ lives,” Dockery said.

“We’ll throw money overseas, we won’t spend money on our own,” said Jacob Blake Sr., the father of Jacob Blake. “Until we demand that our political leaders, solving the problems here... If we put money into our communities, then our communities wouldn’t be so rancid.”

All three families recalled their memories in 2020 Sunday afternoon, wanting to use their influence to advocate for change in black communities, both in Memphis and across the country.

“You can’t clear this pain that these families are in,” Blake Sr. said. “It’s just not going to happen, so let us go into our communities and be strong where we need to be strong.”

The goal is to keep events like this going, to keep the awareness up and send out a message of love into communities in hopes of a promised tomorrow for Memphis kids.

“If we could save one child’s life tomorrow, keep them from going to the cemetery, keep their mothers from crying knowing that she’s lost her baby, I think and I know that God is happy and our community should be happy,” Dockery said.

On top of that, Dockery also feels Dr. Martin Luther King would be happy to see the work that’s taking place here to pour into the city’s black communities.

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