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Dayton Memorial Service Honors George Floyd And Other Victims Of Police Violence

Marcy Bailey speaks to the crowd at Courthouse Square about her son Kareem Ali Nadir Jones, who was shot and killed by Columbus police officers in 2017.
Leila Goldstein
/
WYSO
Marcy Bailey speaks to the crowd at Courthouse Square about her son Kareem Ali Nadir Jones, who was shot and killed by Columbus police officers in 2017.

A Better Dayton Coalition organized a memorial service today at Courthouse Square in honor of George Floyd and other victims of police violence, as mourners gathered in Houston for Floyd’s funeral.

Close to 100 people clustered under the shade of trees as Dayton’s religious leaders from different denominations spoke at the event. 

There was singing and prayer at the service, but also anguish and calls to action. Bishop Richard Cox of Parenthood Ministries highlighted disparities in resources for Dayton’s Black residents. 

“Systemic racism is real in our city. We’re a food desert. We have no banks. They shut down our mental health services,” he said. “When you kill a community, what can we do but protest and raise hell and fight back?” 

Close to 100 people gathered at Courthouse Square for the memorial service. Most people wore masks and kept their distance from others.
Credit Leila Goldstein / WYSO
/
WYSO
Close to 100 people gathered at Courthouse Square for the memorial service. Most people wore masks and kept their distance from others.

Dr. Chad White, pastor of The Word Church, spoke about the closing of Good Samaritan Hospital and its impact on the Black community.

“How in the world could you close a hospital on the west side of Dayton, where the sickest people live, and then have the audacity to say that it’s only a seven-minute ambulance ride to the other side of town? That sounds good until it’s your family member that dies,” he said.

Mothers of victims of police violence also spoke one by one about their sons, holding pictures and artwork.

Sabrina Jordan’s son Jamarco McShann was shot and killed by Moraine police officers in 2017. She said she appreciated the clergy speaking out now but asked why they had not spoken out sooner. 

“Where have you been? Why now to speak out? Because we have needed y’all for years. Y’all have seen our stories but yet you have not spoken out,” she said.