Protesters turn to prayer over benefit cuts - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Protesters turn to prayer over benefit cuts

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As the crowd at a spiritual rally gathered hand and hand around the pulpit at Cane Creek Baptist Church, Charlene Toney was forced to keep her seat in her wheelchair. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) As the crowd at a spiritual rally gathered hand and hand around the pulpit at Cane Creek Baptist Church, Charlene Toney was forced to keep her seat in her wheelchair. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - Protestors turned to prayer in the fight over City of Memphis benefit cuts Thursday night.

As the crowd at a spiritual rally gathered hand and hand around the pulpit at Cane Creek Baptist Church, Charlene Toney was forced to keep her seat in her wheelchair.

"Been sick for 17 years," she said.

Her husband, U.J. Toney, gave 40 plus years to the Memphis Police Department and was a founding member of the Afro-American Police Association.

"I love this city, I love this nation, I love this state, and then to be betrayed like this? It leaves a bitter taste," he said.

He and others believe the decision by city leaders to slash benefits can and must be reversed.

"We have people who have diabetes, heart problems, cancer, and if they lose their insurance, they will die," Toney said.

"I personally don't have any monetary solutions, but I know who has," Rev. Leonard Dawson said.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Dwight Montgomery said he and other pastors helped elect Mayor A C Wharton.

"Now, what we're doing is calling upon him to support us in supporting the city workers," he said.

They promised protest and prayer going forward.

The mayor stood behind the budget cuts Thursday, but he still respects the people's right to vote on any sales tax question that might come up.

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