BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Mayor Larry Langford is calling for residents to wear sackcloth and ashes as Birmingham holds a prayer rally at 6 p.m. Friday at Boutwell Auditorium.
Officials say 27 people have been killed in the city, compared with 19 at the same time last year.
The Reverend Vernon Huguley is pastor of Our Lady Queen of the Universe Catholic Church. He says he is in favor of whatever can be done to help stop violence in the community.
The Reverend Steve Green, pastor of More than Conquerors Faith Church, has helped the mayor plan the event. He says Langford has bought 2,000 burlap sacks that will be handed to participants at the rally.
Since he took office, Langford has held three prayer rallies to address crime and violence in the city. One rally was aimed at men, one at women and one at families.