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Hearse parade aims to decrease gun violence

Posted at 6:35 PM, Aug 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-16 18:35:33-04

Tallahassee, Fla. (WTXL) -- As some of the people who are most frequently the closest to families grieving in the aftermath of gun violence -- funeral home directors say enough is enough.

They're parading their hearses across two counties to help the community see senseless violence from their perspective.

Nearly 20 hearses gathered at the Bradwell Mortuary in Quincy Sunday. One after another, they drove all the way to the Southside of Tallahassee, through communities affected by recent shootings.

That includes... Basin St. and the Leon Arms apartment complex on Holton street where police say Tony McDade stabbed Malik Jackson.
Police say they later caught up with Mcdade when Mcdade pointed a gun at an officer and the 38-year-old was shot and killed.

Leon County funeral director Thomas Griffin says now is the time to keep talking about these shootings in order to inspire change.

Strong and Jones Funeral Director Thomas Griffin, Jr. says,"Gun violence leads to retaliation, which leads to more gun violence. So I said I want to make awareness through all the hearses and the local funeral homes that death is real."

Another Funeral Director, Demarien Hawk agrees. "We're sick of of the violence," he says. "We're sick of seeing our own killing each other. You know, we're in the business of burying people and dealing with grief, but we don't always like having to bury people simply for violence. I always look at it as when we're burying somebody we want to bury somebody who's older in age, who's lived a good life, but when it comes to gun violence, that's just something we want to see come to an end and decrease."

They ended their procession in the Tallahassee Town South plaza with a balloon release.

The gold balloons symbolized 41 senseless shootings they have seen so far in their communities, while the silver ones represented the zero shootings that they would like to see in the future.