Shreveport church rallies against black on black crime

An anti-crime rally drew dozens to downtown Shreveport Saturday.  Their focus was very specific: fighting black on black crime with prayer.

The group from Mt. Canaan Baptist church marched and sang through the streets of the Allendale part of the city and to the Caddo Parish Courthouse.

"We decided that we were going to take our ministry to the street to say enough is enough of this black on black crime," says organizer LaShonda King.

The scene outside the courthouse Saturday couldn't have been more different from the scene Wednesday when a Shreveport man was sentenced to the death penalty for killing an 18 year old in 2008.  Both were black.

LaShonda King lost her uncle in 2005 to the crime that she marches against- "They killed him on a Friday.  His body stayed there until Sunday.  Yes I have been a victim of black on black crime, and I know what it did to my family.  I would hate for another family to go through what I've gone through."

"On August 11, 2005 I was a victim, but I'm not a victim anymore.  I'm a conqueror," exclaims one woman whose husband was murdered.

And the prayer hope to conquer this problem through the power of prayer.

"Those that are Bible-led and Bible-fed are more apt to stay away from crime," says one other congregant.

According to statistics from the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits, while blacks make up less than 14 percent of the U.S. population, they made up 43 percent of all murder victims in 2007.  93 percent were killed by blacks.

Lloyd Thompson, president of the Shreveport-Bossier chapter of the NAACP, says black on black crime is a team effort that everyday people can be a part of- "They can start off by teaching and training our young folks responsibility.  Teaching that it's a common consequence when you commit a crime."

"We want people to know that there is hope, that God cares, and we care as well," LaShonda King says.