HomeTop StoriesVictims' families speak out at an anti-violence rally in Petersburg

Victims’ families speak out at an anti-violence rally in Petersburg

PETERSBURG — Ninety-one days after her 10-year-old son became the city’s youngest murder victim in more than 50 years, Carrie Friar said the pain never goes away.

“I’m angry. My girls are angry,” Friar told people at a “Stop The Violence” rally in Petersburg on Saturday afternoon. “My son was a big part of us.”

K’Von Morgan died June 17 when a bullet pierced the wall of his bedroom in Pecan Acres Estates and hit him while he was playing video games with a friend. His death sent shockwaves through Petersburg, but no one has been arrested so far despite pleas from police, the community and his family for anyone with information to come forward.

“We’re a little lost without him,” Friar said in her first public comments since the shooting. ‘I wish someone would say something. I’ve lived in Kenilworth for fourteen years and I know people are out all night. I know someone saw something.”

K’Von, his mother said, was “always loving and extra caring.”

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Pastor Belinda Baugh, who has organized the STV meeting four years since its inception, said it was a shame no one came forward with information about K’Von’s shooting.

“Don’t stand here today and tell me you didn’t see something, you didn’t hear something, you don’t know something!” said Baugh, a well-known victim advocate and pastor of the New Divine Worship Center. ‘The most curious generation that ever lived… the most gossipy generation I have ever seen. You’re stabbing each other in the back instead of supporting each other!”

On a sun-filled afternoon in front of Third Baptist Church on Farmer Street, meeting participants gathered to eat home-cooked food, drink sweet tea and lemonade and love on the families of murder victims from the Tri-City area.

The highlight of the day – Baugh called it “my favorite part” – was the arrival of a parade of family members and friends. Led by a Petersburg sheriff’s escort, the parade started at Walmart on South Crater Road and made its way through the city, where it was greeted with cheers and applause from rallygoers. Participants honked their horns and waved signs with photos of their lost loved ones. Leather-clad bikers and a group representing a “Black Power Coalition” also took part in the parade and stood in formation at the rally holding flags with messages.

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The largest contingents of family and friends were on hand for K’Von and for Toni “Stinka” Knight, who was shot and killed in a crossfire on July 2, 2022, at the ArtistSpace Lofts on Perry Street, just blocks from where the gathering was held . All suspects in her death have been convicted of second-degree murder and have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing.

“For me it is a life sentence. It is a life sentence for anyone who has lost a loved one,” Knight’s mother, Diane Branzelle, told the crowd. “Please, please stop this unnecessary violence. It costs the life of the entire family.”

There was also Brionna Taylor, whose eight-year-old daughter Paris Mi-Unique Angel Moore was murdered in Hopewell on December 30, 2022. She tried to say something, but was too overcome with emotion.

In addition to families, friends and community members, the rally drew both Democrat Lashrecse Aird and Republican Eric Ditri, who are vying for 13th place.e The Senate District seat in the November election, and Kimberly Pope Adams, a Democrat who is running against Republican incumbent Del. Kim Taylor challenges in the 1982 election.NL House District Elections. No one from the Petersburg City Council was present.

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Bill Atkinson (he/him/his) is an award-winning journalist covering breaking news, government and politics. Reach him out [email protected] or on X (formerly known as Twitter) at @BAtkinson_PI.

This article originally appeared on The Progress-Index: Victims’ Families Speak During Anti-Violence in Petersburg

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