Founder of Project Body Bag shares a “down to earth” approach to advocating against gun violence.

Lexington, KY (WKYT) – Project Body Bag is the name of a local advocacy group. Damion Riley, the project’s founder, travels to schools to discuss gun violence with students.

The group’s goal is to keep people away from body bags and not choose a life of violence.

“You know every kid makes mistakes. They bump their heads, but we don’t want it to end like this,” Damien Riley said.

Lexington just hit 37 homicides this year, tying a record set in 2021. He said he wanted people to understand the importance of making the right choice.

“It’s more revenge, more personal beef, but we want to get them to stop personal beef and make them understand. Lexington is big, but small. Most of these kids, they’re probably Relevant. We want to let them know they have a brighter future and then pick up the gun and make the wrong decision in a second,” Riley added.

There’s caution tape, orange jumpsuits, and real-life body bags. Demonstrations at crime scenes could bring children to tears, he said.

“The other kid, when I put his mum in the body bag…it opened his eyes and brought him back to reality and started doing the right thing,” Riley said.

Of course, there is no immediate solution, he said, but he believes a “down to earth approach” is needed.

“I think we really have to take a deeper, deeper, deeper approach to these kids,” he said. “It lets them know we’re here. It also gives them a voice, because sometimes as adults, we don’t hear the voice and we don’t hear the need.”

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