Invoking King legacy, Philadelphia leaders seek help in halting violence

On a day dedicated to remembering an apostle of nonviolence, city leaders visited Bethel Temple Community Bible Church in the Kensington section of Philadelphia on Monday to ask assembled worshippers to do their part to limit violence.

Two rows of family members of three dead boys gunned down last week sat in the front of Bethel Temple Community Bible Church in the Kensington section of the city Monday.

On a day dedicated to remembering an apostle of nonviolence, city leaders visited the Philadelphia church. The gathering became both a memorial for the boys and, inevitably, a call to action for their community.

“I think my job is about preventing crime. Amen?” said District Attorney Seth Williams to the congregation. “That’s why we’re here.”

Near the end of a long day of Martin Luther King Jr. Day observances, Williams asked those assembled in the pews to do their part to limit violence.

“I’m not asking you to chase down people who are selling guns and jump on their backs, but all of us in our own way can make a great impact on making our community safe,” Williams urged.

Directly speaking to the young people in the room, which included his two youngest daughters, he asked the crowd to keep their friends in check to prevent future incidents.

Mayor Michael Nutter, who said the man charged in last week’s killings had passed his gun on to someone else, challenged members of the community to step forward and tell the city who has that gun and where to find it.

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