CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - There have already been 71 homicides in Charlotte this year. That’s compared to 62 homicides at this point last year.
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden wants the violence to stop.
This is why he gathered with leaders of the Funeral Directors and Morticians Association of North Carolina on Sunday to demonstrate a point.
On Sunday afternoon, McFadden teamed up with local funeral directors for a procession of hearses along Beatties Ford Road. Funeral directors spoke about the continual planning of laying young people to rest, killed due to violence. Sheriff McFadden said it will take the entire community stepping up to stop the violence.
“A grandmother lost her life last weekend at a party,” McFadden said. “A young man was stabbed last weekend in the wee hours of the morning.”
McFadden said he wants to see more people pouring their energy into the effort of stopping what he calls community violence.
“So, if we want to fight about something and we want to march about something, and we want to demonstrate about something and we want to carry signs about something, let’s talk about community violence,” McFadden said.
Hearses left the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and drove down Beatties Ford Road to symbolize the deaths in the Charlotte community. Several of which have happened along the Beatties Ford corridor.
McFadden said families deserve justice.
His frustration is felt personally by the men and women planning funerals.
“I just had the privilege of walking a family down the aisle to say goodbye to their loved one,” said Timothy Thompson, of Long & Son Mortuary Service. “A father, a son, a brother, a nephew, a uncle.”
There is pain in their quest for answers.
“To know that no one in this community has come forward to give any solid leads so that arrests can be made, someone can be brought into custody,” Thompson said. “We know who did it, we know who did it. Come on, say it!”
Each hearse represented a life lost.
McFadden challenges the community to put the same energy he has seen in protests, into working to stop this violence.
“I’ll leave each and every one of you to answer that question,” McFadden said. “Is Charlotte a violent city? And if you don’t have an answer to that question, there’s about 70 people that would have that answer for you.”