Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Call for Justice Marchers Don't Want Mothershot While Holding Infant to Be Forgotten

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Call for Justice Marchers Don't Want Mothershot While Holding Infant to Be Forgotten

Article excerpt

They walked a mile through the streets of Perry South, chanting "What happened to Nicole?" at the police who escorted them, and at the silent North Charles Street homes that lined their path.

But when their journey - and a testy confrontation with city officers - ended, the nearly 100 people mourning Nicole Dailey were no closer to understanding her death.

"She was the light of the world. I want people not to be afraid to speak up," said LaKesha Lowry, who said she had taken Ms. Dailey, 26, into her heart as a daughter 10 years ago: "I didn't need blood to be her mother," she said.

Ms. Dailey was shot around 11:15 p.m. on Aug. 6, still holding her infant daughter, Nia, in her arms. Officers found her in a vacant lot across the street from her home, near the intersection of Strauss and North Charles streets. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Pittsburgh police have not identified a suspect nor a motive, and friends said it was hard to imagine one.

"She didn't have a bad bone in her body," said Jasmine Jones, who attended Edinboro University with Ms. Dailey. "She made herself known in a room - singing, being goofy."

"Her duty was to make sure everybody got loved," agreed Nicole James, another Edinboro friend.

Nine-month-old Nia was not injured and is "doing well" with family, Ms. Lowry said. "But somebody took my baby away from her baby."

For other protesters, that sorrow mixed with anger over other unsolved cases involving the deaths of black women.

Marchers carried signs bearing the names of 13 other black female murder victims in the city, and several said police and the press devoted less attention to crimes when black women and transgender people were victims.

"We want justice for black women in Pittsburgh!" called out Ramona Jones, an activist with the New Afrikan Independence Party.

Mourners stopped at a shrine - a cross bedecked with photos, scores of votive candles, and a Care Bear - in the grassy lot where Ms. Dailey died. They recited the names of others lost to violence as rosewater was sprinkled at the altar, and pleaded with neighbors to help identify her killer. …

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