SELMA, AL (WSFA) - Monday clergy and community members came together to talk about how to curb the violence in Selma. This on the heels of an investigation into a weekend ‘ambush’ shooting of a veteran Selma police officer continues.
The rain couldn’t stop people from gathering at Tabernacle Baptist in Selma for a violence awareness mass meeting. The night started with prayer by the Army of Mothers and Fathers.
“In order for this situation to change we must seek God,” said Army of Mothers and Fathers member Clara Tyus.
Attending was a priority for Tyus and her husband, Edward.
“They are ready to do something about it, but we all have to get on one accord,” said Edward Tyus.
“This is not just about coping this is about changing the culture of this city,” said Tabernacle Baptist Church Senior Pastor Otis Culliver.
Culliver said this violence awareness mass meeting had been planned for weeks. However, there was an urgency given the events that unfolded not to far from the church Sunday when Selma Police Officer Michael Hale was “ambushed” and shot by multiple suspects.
“There is a deep sadness that they are being attacked,” said Culliver.
Culliver believes now is the time for citizens to work together and support law enforcement.
“Let them know we appreciate them and care for them by making sure they are well trained, well equipped, and well compensated,” said Culliver.
While faith is at the forefront this movement plans are in place to develop and implement a strategic plan for their message to go beyond these walls.
“Build relationships within the community. Instead of wanting them to come to us we want to go to them with compassion and love,” said Culliver.
The hope for those here is their Faith in Action will bring forth a change and make a difference.
Michael Hale, the officer injured in Sunday’s shooting, is expected to make a full recovery. Hale is at home now despite taking a bullet to the chest.