Hearse Motorcade Planned By Local Funeral Directors To Protest Detroit Homicides
Fed up with Detroit's increasing homicide rate, a group of funeral home directors have organized a motorcade to protest senseless violence in the city. The motorcade, led by a contingent of 20 hearses, will travel through some of the city's most dangerous streets on Sunday, Fox 2 reports.
O'Neil D. Swanson of the Swanson Funeral home will lead the "Thou Shall Not Kill" procession with the Detroit NAACP's Rev. Wendell Anthony.
"Enough is enough," Swanson told the Detroit News. "We want to send a message, especially to our young people who are creating the havoc, that it is unholy and ungodly."
The motorcade will begin at Woodward and Adams in Detroit at 4 p.m. Sunday. After traveling a route through several high-crime neighborhoods, the vehicles will convene at Detroit's Fellowship Chapel, Rev. Anthony's church, for a rally at 5:30.
Detroit's murder rate rose substantially during the last year. There were 344 homicides in 2011, compared to 308 in 2010. The city has already had 18 homicides this year, as of Jan. 15, compared to 11 by the same date in 2011.
In Wednesday's State of the State speech, Gov. Rick Snyder said addressing public safety in Detroit and other Michigan city's with high crime rates would be among his priorities this year. He promised to deliver a special message to the legislature in March focused on increasing law enforcement and improving the state's criminal justice system.
The hearse parade is not the first attention-grabbing move for Swanson and Anthony. The two men held a mock funeral for the "N-Word" in 2007.