Local church honors Philadelphia gun violence victims with t-shirt memorial

The church puts out this display every year, the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia gun violence memorial in Overbrook Farms is turning heads on City Avenue.

Overbrook Presbyterian Church has hundreds of brightly colored t-shirts on display, each with the name, age, and date of death for a 2021 gun violence victim in Philadelphia.

"These are my people. Most of these are Black and brown people," said Solomon Jones from Man Up PHL, who helped organize the memorial. "Each one of these represents a person and see the sheer volume of it, the sheer volume of the gun violence in Philadelphia."

The city controller's office says of Philadelphia's 562 homicides in 2021, 486 were because of gun violence.

"Every time I drive by these t-shirts, it's a constant reminder that we have to do more," said State Representative Morgan Cephas from the 192nd Legislative District.

The church puts out this display every year, the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"In the seven years that we've done this, the numbers have gone up every single year," said Aimerie Scherluebbe, who helped organize the memorial for the church.

She says it's both to commemorate the lives lost and remind each other to stop this epidemic.

Cephas added, "If we had less poverty if we had access to affordable housing, which are all things Dr. King stood for and fought for, maybe we would have saved these lives."

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