"Be relatable to what's going on": Murder victim's family addresses pastors at prayer vigil
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
Chattanoogans came together on Monday night for a prayer vigil to "Silence the Violence" in the city.
People joined together in prayer to end the violence, but the vigil turned into a discussion about how the community can do better.
Local pastors and community members gathered in front of the Southside Youth and Family Development Center.
The vigil, organized by volunteer chaplains with the Chattanooga Police Department, honored all 25 victims who were murdered this year, including Bianca Horton, whose family showed up for the vigil.
"I see her children every day, and it is so hard because they cry for their mother, and they want their mother," said Horton's cousin, Demetrius Solomon. "It's hard because we can't bring her back."
The young mother of four was gunned down over the summer. A key witness in an upcoming murder trial, Horton was killed before she could testify.
After prayer, Horton's sister decided to speak out.
"A lot of y'all clergy are standing here today," said Alexandria Frazier, Horton's sister. "I'm gonna issue you guys a challenge."
Frazier said it's about reaching the youth.
"Sometimes you've got to take off the collar. You've got to take off the suit, and become human," said Frazier. "Be relatable to what's going on. Remember all the dumb stuff you did when you were young? That's exactly what they're doing now. It's easier for me to mentor a person as somebody who's been there, instead of somebody that's looking down on somebody."
"Alexandria has this passion," said Chaplain Anthony Taylor. "We all should have this passion."
Because stopping the violence takes everyone standing together.
"We can't do it by ourselves.These ministers that are out here today can't do it by themselves," said Solomon. "It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a community. And we need the community's help."
"We've got to stop fighting over nothing," added Frazier. "We've got to stop killing each other over nothing."
The chaplain corps said this was the last vigil of the summer. The next one will be held in December.