Ride of Tears unveils new hearse to be used for children killed by gun violence

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As gun violence continues to claim lives across Shelby County, a Memphis organization is adapting to the times.

Ride of Tears unveiled its new hearse that will be used to transport the youngest victims of gun violence.

“Our babies are dying, you know, due to gun violence for no reason it’s sad,” said Kenny Lee, vice president of Ride of Tears. “So today, on behalf of the Ride of Tears, we bring in something that the city not only needs.”

“How you think these mothers feel when they put the babies in these cars and the fathers, and they put them in the car, and these families gotta go one and the children out there anymore, because of the violence that we get in our community?” said Mary Trice, CEO of Ride of Tears.

So far this year, at least 18 children have died, many of them classified as a homicide by police. Data from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital shows that they have treated just over 100 children who had been shot.

“Let me ask you the question. Can you see yourself putting your baby in this car for the last time?” Trice said.

In light of recent killings involving children, Trice felt they needed a vehicle just for children. So, through fundraising they recently were able to complete the purchase of this new vehicle.

“Memphis, Tennessee, wake up. It’s a car that’s gone carry your baby because I told you, you gone kill your own baby when you shoot into a crowd,” Trice said. “Then who you gone hurt? Once you kill your own baby, ain’t nobody for you kill.”

The ultimate mission of the organization is to shine a light on violence plaguing the community with the hope that, one day, there is change. 

“The funeral home may dress you, but Ride of Tears gone ride you,” Lee said.

September 12, Ride of Tears is planning to drive the hearse across the community to remind everyone about the consequences their action could have. A 40-city tour is also in the works.

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