Paying respects to crime victims

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Local families got a chance to mourn, grieve and get closure for their lost loved ones.  Sunday afternoon, the Government Center Plaza was the site for a memorial service for crime victims.

Gwendolyn Toney remembers her niece, Kija Bassett.  She says the 23-month-old was beaten to death by her mother’s boyfriend two years ago.

Toney says Bassett was a smart, bubbly baby who was happy all the time.  She adds that many, like Kija, would have benefited from a stronger community.

“Stop the violence is a worthy cause. I think a lot of people need to get more into it because we as a community have to stick together. Had that have been going on two years ago, Kija would still be here. If you see anything out of place, report it. That’s it,” Toney said.

She says the entire community must carry the emotional load in order to take care of everyone.  Families and friends of lost loved ones were able to write personal messages on hearts and bricks.


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