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Signs protest black on black crime

Photo by Aaron Paden / A sign designed by Elisa Corley stands in protest to black-on-black crime on North Jackson Street.

Photo by Aaron Paden / A sign designed by Elisa Corley stands in protest to black-on-black crime on North Jackson Street.

Last year, Brookhaven saw 10 homicides that sent a shock through the community. Those deaths have galvanized community leaders into searching for a solution. Elisa Corley with the sheriff’s office has been making signs to raise awareness about black-on-black crime.

“Only Blacks Can Stop BOB,” the signs read. They can be found around town.

Corley, who ran for alderman in 2005 and 2009, said the goal wasn’t to cause offense or to present himself as a radical activist.

“I live on Martin Luther King,” Corley said. “I’m tired of hearing gunshots. I’m tired of people getting killed. Just basic stupid stuff that people shouldn’t be fighting over.”

“Once a lot of people start seeing, it becomes a coalition against black on black crime,” Corley said. “Hopefully it will get into the mind of these kids they see these signs.”

In the past few months, there have been several talks about what can be done to stop the violence. Corley said the police department is important, but positive change has to begin with the community.

“As far as the police department goes, there’s a lot they can do, but there’s a lot they can’t do,” Corley said. “It’s going to take a community of people to help do their job a lot better, no matter who’s the chief. The police can’t be everywhere, even in this small town.”

Corley said he uses the profits from the signs to buy more signs. The cost of production can depend on the bulk of the purchase.

“Even if it doesn’t go far, at least I’m trying,” Corley said.