Black Lives Matter of Southwest Missouri held a silent vigil to honor victims of officer involved shootings

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Saturday, April 17, dozens gathered on Commercial Street in Springfield to honor the lives lost in officer-involved shootings.

The event was titled “Springfield Stands in Solidarity” and honored those like Daunte Wright, 20, and Adam Toledo, 13, who were two African Americans fatally shot by police the past month.

We’ve had a lot of death this week,” said Imari Stout, founder of Black Lives Matter of Southwest Missouri. “There’s a lot of mourning going on. There’s a lot of grieving going on .”

Black Lives Matter SWMO says this is another means of bringing awareness to what the group calls much need change.

For the black community and people of color as a whole, that morning never stops,” said Stout. “The deaths are daily. Not just the ones that are nationally recognized. We have people that are dying just like George Floyd and Adam Toledo and Dante right every single day, and we’re not hearing those names.”

Around 80 people gathered near the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge in Springfield for the event and there was a half-hour of silence which began at 6 p.m.

“Because their lives have been silenced,” said Lyle Foster, organizer of the event. “These tragedies. These are lives that are snuffed out the potential who they could be. We so often think we’ve got to always say something, but sometimes the discomfort of silence helps to bring focus helps to bring attention to that which was lost.”

Among those who spoke were two mothers, Renee Goodwin and Tina Slay Richardson. Goodwin son died while at the Greene County Jail in 2016 and Richardson’s son was shot and killed by a DEA Agent outside his home in Springfield on November 2, 2020.

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