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Prayer vigils are part of a strategy to curb Tallahassee's gun violence plague

A basketball goalpost with the basket removed, casting a long shadow.
Margie Menzel
Margie Menzel
A basketball goalpost with the basket removed at FAMU's Hansel Tookes Recreation Center, where Travis Huntley was fatally shot.

Community leaders held a prayer vigil on Florida A&M University’s outdoor basketball court, where 20-year-old Travis Huntley was fatally shot and four others wounded. Prayer vigils are part of the strategy of the “Respect Yourself” Crime Prevention Task Force, which formed last month in response to Tallahassee’s plague of gun violence -- and days before Huntley’s death.

The baskets have been taken off the poles on the court, and about 50 people prayed there on Friday. Reverend R.B. Holmes, leader of the task force, says some may mock them, but he believes in the power of prayer. Another task force recommendation is “If you see something, say something.” State Senator Corey Simon says it’s time to rethink the old prohibition against being a tattletail.

“And the verbiage has changed but the attitude is the same. ‘Stop snitching. Don’t be a snitch,'" he said. "But I can tell you that us not snitching, us not being a tattletale -- it’s destroying our communities.”  

The “Respect Yourself” Crime Prevention Task Force will meet next at the end of January.

Follow @MargieMenzel

Margie Menzel covers local and state government for WFSU News. She has also worked at the News Service of Florida and Gannett News Service. She earned her B.A. in history at Vanderbilt University and her M.S. in journalism at Florida A&M University.