Birmingham Barber Shop Commemorates Homicides

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Two friends hope to raise awareness of violence by placing an artificial flower in a vase at a downtown barber shop for each Birmingham homicide victim.

New Deal Barber and Style Shop owner Erskine Simpson and longtime friend Earl Melton, a retired Birmingham police officer, have placed a flower in a corner of Simpson's shop since 2006. By the end of that year, 109 red roses filled the vase. In 2007, they added a vase and switched to gold flowers, 93 in all.

They're using purple roses for those who die in acts of violence this year -- 71 so far, according to police.

Melton calls the homicide division once a week to find out if there have been any recent cases. He hopes the flowers show victims' families that the slain are not forgotten.

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