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New group, Safer Communities for Justice, seeks resolutions to unsolved murders

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I’m not going to stand back and accept that my child is a number. She’s not a number. Her name is Essence T Crystal. I want that to be remembered and I want our community to step up.


A new advocacy group, working on the issue of unsolved murders in Providence, had its formal launch on Friday evening outside the Southside Cultural Center in Providence. Safer Communities for Justice was formed by Diana Garlington, in collaboration with Moms Demand Action to push the Providence Police Department and the Rhode Island Attorney General to allocate more resources to closing the more than 130 unsolved murders in Providence since 2000.

“I’m not going to stand back and accept that my child is a number. She’s not a number. Her name is Essence T Crystal. I want that to be remembered and I want our community to step up,” said Garlington. “How can we say we are in a safe city with 131 unsolved murders? It’s impossible.”

Garlington asked those in attendance to call their representatives and to call Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha to demand that funding be allocated towards solving these murders.

Christine Bandoni from Moms Demand Action emceed the event:

Diana Garlington:


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Reverend Jamie Washam opened the event with a prayer:

Giovanna Rodriguez:

Annette Perry lost her son Dmitri Perry to an unsolved homicide in Providence:

A poem from Jaychele Schenck, founder and executive director of Gen Z: We Want to Live.

Dian Garlington:

Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements: