Local News

Vigil, March Held to Call for End to Violent Crimes

Posted April 27, 2007

— Friends, relatives and strangers gathered Friday night to remember people whose lives were lost to violence and to call for change.

Nearly 100 people showed up for a vigil and a march against crime sponsored by the Durham Police Department. Most of the marchers had the same message: End violence, especially gang violence, in Durham now.

"My sister-in-law, Janet Abaroa, was murdered two years ago here in Durham. We just felt it was important to support this walk against crime," Connie Christiansen said. "It helped to be able to feel like you're supporting others and try not to focus too much on what you're going through."

Abaroa, a 25-year-old mother, was stabbed to death in her Durham home two years ago Thursday. The case remains unsolved.

Twelve-year-old Jamal Lowery's mother was murdered in January 1996, and he still can't describe what life is like without her.

"I don't know. Many of you may be thinking, 'How don't you?' Well, I just don't," Jamal told those in attendance.

Many students from North Carolina Central University took part to show support for fallen classmates near and far.

"I just came out to show my love and support for Virginia Tech victims," student Jevon Rogers said.

"It's always a good time to show support for people that have been victims of violence, and violence that happened on our campus, Ms. Denita Smith, as well," student Tafari Higgins said.

Smith, an N.C. Central graduate student from Charlotte, was fatally shot outside her apartment in January. A Greensboro woman who police say was obsessed with Smith's fiance has been charged with murder in the case.

"When you see the suffering like we've seen this evening, you can't go back tomorrow to business as usual. We're going to have to really come together as a community ... to bring about change," Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers said.

The police department also will host a Saturday banquet for crime victims.


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  • Iworkforaliving Apr 29, 2007

    a vigil to stop vigils ??? it could work.

  • grayfox2 Apr 28, 2007

    CherC68/I stand behind what I wrote. After the march they will go home and everything will remain the same. I know it and you know it. As for standing up and speaking my mind, I believe that I am.

  • CherC68 Apr 28, 2007

    "Why do these People".....this is a sentiment I have heard before.

    Please think about this....What are you doing for Crime Victims? Please take your righteous anger about murder, anger, drugs, welfare, and do something about it. Stand up, speak your mind, I urge you to do something positive.

    This week is National Crime Victims' Rights Week. 25 year old, pregnant, Janet Marie Christiansen Abaroa was murdered in her Durham, NC home while her young 6-month old son, lay in the next room.

    Her family, who lives all over the US came to Durham to support the march against violence. They are grieving, they are sad, yet they wanted to show their support, and do something proactive.

    The murderer is still out there, they do not live in Durham, but wanted to show support for all Crime Victims. I urge you to do something proactive, instead of posting negative comments on a forum.

  • grayfox2 Apr 28, 2007

    Why do these people think that a march is the answer to everything? After the march they go home and everything remains the same. Murder,robbery,drugs and welfare.

  • refiman Apr 28, 2007

    yeah, I'm sure that will work in Durham.