A community marched down MLK Avenue in southwest DC to honor the life of 6-year-old Nyiah Courtney, who was killed in a drive-by shooting Friday night.
Protesters took to the streets to demand changes. They want people to let go of the guns.
“It’s very heartbreaking; no mother deserves to bury her child at such a young age, ”said one of the walkers.
It was also a march against armed violence in which community members, activists and neighborhood leaders participated.
Staff from Nyiah’s school, Ingenuity Prep, were also present. Nyiah would have started the first year in the fall.
“It’s going to be difficult, especially for the teachers who have taught him over the years. We’ve had Nyiah since she was in pre-K 3. She’s had her older sister even longer, ”said an Ingenuity Prep employee.
Nyiah was shot and killed while standing on the sidewalk with her family on MLK and Malcolm X avenues. Police found the car involved in the shooting, but no arrests were made.
“We all have a role to play, and so I support everything that is positive in this community because there are so many negative stereotypes, and we have to support everything that is positive,” said Trayon White, member of the ward council 8.
Around midnight there was another murder on MLK Avenue in the southeast, over a mile from where Nyiah was shot.
“Gun violence in the city, it’s just gotten out of hand, and all these young people feel the same way, so they need older people like me to show, ‘Hey, we’re listening and we’re here to help you.’ “said another walker.
Police also announced a new community-based patrol unit based on officers patrolling mountain bikes and scooters.
Chief Robert Contee said they were motivated. He said the officers volunteered for the mission.
“This is the direct result of the conversations I have had with the communities. We want to see the police get out of the cars. We want to see police officers in the community. Well you have it here, ”Contee said.
Contee said these high-profile teams will be in communities facing an increase in violent crime. He said the teams will be deployed to areas based on data collection where the violence has occurred.
Contee said he had been working on this for several weeks and that it was not a direct response to Nyiah’s murder.
The teams will initially be deployed in the neighborhoods of Columbia Heights, Parkwood, Washington Highlands and Bloomingdale.