Devontae Sanford talks about his wrongful conviction at peace rally at Church of Messiah in Detroit

Posted at 2:34 PM, Jun 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-25 18:52:23-04

Silence the violence - that's the message from an emotional peace rally today.

Inside a packed Church of the Messiah, the message was accompanied by the personal story of a teen who grew up in prison.

Now 23-years-old, Devontae Sanford talked about his recent release and being wrongfully convicted of four Detroit murders that cost him more than 8 years of his life.

"I was 14 when I went to prison for a crime I didn't commit,” he said. “I know how hard and traumatic it was and want to tell kids that everything you do has consequences."

Outside, Devontae and hundreds of others rallied through the neighborhoods - together with Crime Stoppers, City Councilwoman Mary Sheffield and other neighboring service organizations

Jobs are being created to bring opportunities.

Now, Devontae is turning his own life around, going back to school, educating others and hoping our city can truly prevent more violence.

"The more people who become aware and care. The more who care things will get better with time but they can't change just like that," he says. "If you don't care about your future who will."

You can contact the church for more on the job creation program:

Church of the Messiah
231 E. Grand Blvd @ Lafayette
Detroit MI 48207