LOUISVILLE, KY -- It was a standing room only community meeting in the basement of King Solomon Church Friday night. Roughly 100 people gathered to plan what they will do to make sure baby Ne'Riah's death leads to change in the community.
"It was the catalyst for me," said Minister Jerald Muhammad, minister with Nation of Islam and part of the organization "Brothers Helping Brothers."
Muhammad asked everyone at the meeting to join one of six committees: spiritual, business, civil rights, political, education and youth.
The big theme of the meeting was that change must come from within.
"We want to empower people to say hey we can make changes in the community on our own. We don't have to wait on anyone else. There is enough skill, talent and even money in our community to address all of our issues," said Muhammad.
Connie McFarland is a cousin of Ne'Riah’s mother, who was also shot on Wednesday. She has started her own initiative. She has already collected close to 500 signatures in a petition for harsher punishment for gun crimes.
"Let's give these kids a wakeup call that if you pull a trigger you will do life in the penitentiary without the possibility of patrol. That is what we are asking for. That is what I am asking for, for my family because I have had two deaths in my family in 18 months. It’s enough. I can't do it anymore," said McFarland.
Saturday at 2:30 at 37th and Market Street, many of the people who were at Friday's meeting will be going door to door asking for input on changes the community would like to see.