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Hearses To Lead Anti-Violence Motorcade In Detroit

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Anti-violence campaigners say a motorcade led by 20 hearses will wind through parts of Detroit as part of an effort calling for an end to killings in the city.

The United Communities of America says the slow-moving “Thou Shall Not Kill” motorcade will travel Sunday afternoon from downtown into several crime-ridden neighborhoods before ending at Fellowship Chapel for a rally.

Magnetic signs displaying “Thou shall not kill” will be posted on each hearse. At least 16 funeral homes are participating in the event, which takes place on the citywide day of Peace and Healing.

United Communities of America spokesman Thamar Johnson says the hearses are “a powerful visual sign that the killing is taking place and it’s real.”

Detroit had 344 homicides last year, compared with 308 in 2010.

According to 2011 crime statistics released by Police Chief Ralph Godbee earlier this month, while the murder rate has risen, preliminary numbers show that violent crimes in general, inculding rape and assault, were down by 7,300 or 8 percent. Godbee attributed that decline, in part, to the work of various community groups. (More on this here).

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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