Mayor Randall Woodfin announced on Tuesday a partnership between the city and local faith leaders, Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama and law enforcement to offer cash rewards for information that leads to arrests in several cases of children who were shot in Birmingham in recent weeks.
“There’s a line that has been crossed when children are hurt,” Woodfin said. “There is a line that has been crossed when children are shot, and there’s definitely a line that has been crossed when children are killed.”
Local faith and community leaders raised a total of $125,000, with $25,000 promised in each child’s case for information that results in an arrest.
Katrina Grady, a certified nursing assistant whose daughter was injured in a drive-by shooting last month after the family stopped to help at the scene of a car wreck, said she still jumps at small noises in her home.
She called on the community to do better and asked anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.
“Somebody knows who done this to my child,” Grady said. “I want justice.”
Pastor Thomas Beavers of the Star Church in Birmingham said he and other faith leaders are fed up with the violence.
“How can we as a community point the finger at other people when we have a no-snitch rule inside of our community and we refuse to speak up?” he said.
Birmingham ranks third on a national list of the deadliest American cities based on homicide rates in 2019. Its murder rate was 50.62 per 100,000 residents. That compares to 18.26 per 100,000 in Chicago, for instance.
The financial rewards come six weeks after Woodfin announced a crackdown on gun violence by targeting illegal firearms.
On Tuesday, he said he thinks the city is at an inflection point.
“None of us have the luxury to sit on the sideline and just think, oh, that’s another shooting,” he said.