Religious leaders host prayer vigil for Frayser

Area faith leaders hold vigil

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Religious leaders from Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope, or MICAH, held a prayer vigil for the healing of the Frayser community.

According to the TBI, a U.S. Marshal shot and killed 20-year-old Brandon Webber in Frayser Wednesday night.

Webber was wanted in Mississippi for aggravated assault and armed robbery.

People in Frayser were upset, throwing rocks and bricks at officers. According to police, 36 law enforcement officers were injured.

On Father's Day, religious leaders acknowledged the pain in Frayser and honored Webber, who was a father of three.

“A young man that was never able to actualize all of his potential. Just as this great city has not been able to actualize its great potential,” said Stacy Spencer, MICAH president.

Clergy members say the pain in Frayser shows that all of Memphis needs help.

“God is asking us, ‘Do you understand that when I say love thy neighbor as thyself, I don't mean a zip code? Do you understand that neighbor is not a geographical term, it is a moral concept,’” said Micah Greenstein, MICAH.

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings was asked to speak at the event but he declined.

These religious leaders do not point the finger at law enforcement.

They say positive change must come from everyone in the city.

“The change we need, the healing we need is a task for the whole city,” said Ayanna Watkins, MICAH executive director.

“We pray that the breach of trust between the people in poor black communities and police officers can be repaired in Memphis, Tennessee,” said Spencer.

MICAH representatives say they look forward to tough conversations about law enforcement, education, criminal justice reform, poverty and much more to make Memphis a better place.

“We stand here today determined that we will change the narrative in Memphis, Tennessee,” said Spencer.

They hope to avoid an incident such as this from ever happening again.

MICAH contacted Webber’s mother and was given her approval for the event.

She was also invited but they said she couldn’t make it because she’s still overcome with grief.

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