Policing

Safer Communities for Justice launches unsolved murders tip line

“It’s time for us to provide solutions,” said Safer Communities for Justice founder Diana Garlington. “We do rallies and vigils, like Lock Arms for Peace, but it’s now time to step up and try to provide solutions to what’s going on in our communities.”
Photo for Safer Communities for Justice launches unsolved murders tip line

Published on June 1, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist

Safer Communities for Justice called on state and city officials to take more action on unsolved murders, and announced their website and tip line (401-702-0244) that will allow people with information on unsolved murders to report what they know anonymously. Founded by activist and gun violence survivor Diana Garlington, Safer Communities for Justice seeks to “achieve peace and justice for the beloved individuals taken by violence.”

Garlington knows the pain the unsolved murder of a loved one can bring. On November 26, 2011, Garlington’s 21 year-old daughter, Essence Tyler Crystal, was murdered at the age of 21. The killer was never apprehended.

“For those ten years, I have emotionally and physically suffered, trying to achieve justice for my daughter,” said Garlington. Reaching out to public officials and her community about her daughter, “I felt I was being failed,” said Garlington, and she resolved to do something herself.

“It’s time for us to provide solutions,” said Garlington. “We do rallies and vigils, like Lock Arms for Peace, but it’s now time to step up and try to provide solutions to what’s going on in our communities.

“I’m asking my community, let’s unite. It’s time for us to all stand up and speak out. We can’t continue to sit back and watch our children being slaughtered in the streets and stay silent,” said Garlington. “It’s totally up to us as a community to do what we need to do to stop it.”

Providence and surrounding communities have seen a wave of gun violence over the last few weeks, resulting in serious injury and death, including Tatyana Shawnte Francis, who was killed while seated in a car by an unknown assailant with a rifle. That crime remains unsolved as of this writing.

“We need to bring our community back to a village,” said Garlington. “We also have to realize what’s affecting our community – we’re living in poverty, we have housing issues, we have people who are jobless – We need to address those situations in order to move forward.”

Safer Communities for Justice is a collaborative effort in coordination with the Nonviolence Institute, the Rhode Island Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, The Women Project, the Providence Police Department and the office of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza.

Safer Communities for Justice is asking the Providence City Council to include money for unsolved murders in the next budget.

The event was held inside the Nonviolence Institute in Providence. Diana Garlington served as the emcee for the speakers at the unveiling:

Cedric Huntley, Executive Director of the Nonviolence Institute:

Lisa Pena-Warren is the Director of Intervention Services at Nonviolence Institute

Pastor Jackie Jackson, Community Outreach Advocate for the City of Cincinnati, Pastor and founder of “Come As You Are Reach-Out Ministries,” and Everytown for Gun Safety Survivor Fellow:

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha:

Diana Garlington:

Major David Lapatin, Commanding Officer of the Investigation Division of the Providence Police Department:

Diana Garlington:

Johandalys Montas, leadership board member and director of the Youth Committee of Woonsocket Alliance to Champion Hope (WATCH), with a poem:

Detective Sergeant Terrence Green of the Providence Police Department:

Pastor Jackie Jackson returns to deliver the keynote address:

Cedric Huntley:

Diana Garlington closes out the event:

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