Tuesday, July 23, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Father Michael Pfleger, center, speaks during Tuesday’s gathering as Betty Young, Scott’s grandmother, (right), and her daughter, Kisha Stansberry, Scott’s mother, look on. | Shanel Romain
A crowd of at least 60 people converged in front of Family Dollar, 1019 Madison St. in Maywood, on Tuesday evening to protest the unsolved murder of a teenager who was shot in broad daylight just feet away from the store’s entrance. The gathering was also held to publicize a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever did the crime.
Isiah K. Scott, 19, was killed on March 12 after getting into a confrontation with two other young men outside of Family Dollar, according to eyewitness accounts that have been sent to Scott’s mother Kisha Stansberry, 39. Stansberry said that she’s gotten Facebook messages from witnesses who saw the crime, but so far nobody has told the police what happened.
Stansberry, who said that she learned of her son’s death by looking at a Facebook video of him lying on the ground, believes that the two suspects were former friends of her son. The boys had fallen out months before the shooting took place, she said.
During the July 23 gathering, community members — including Scott’s relatives and friends — stood in solidarity with Father Michael Pfleger, of Chicago’s St. Sabina Church in Chicago — to denounce what they described as the code of silence that has kept anyone from going to the police with what they know.
“People are telling what they saw, but they’re not going to the police,” Stansberry said. “It’s a gap [between] the community and the police. [People aren’t telling], not because they’re scared of the individuals who committed the crime; they just don’t want to be labeled a snitch.”
Stansberry is a member of Purpose Over Pain, an organization run out of the Faith Community of St. Sabina that provides support and resources for parents who have lost children to gun violence.
Isiah’s stepfather, Dean Stansberry, holds up a t-shirt bearing a hashtag that has consumed the family ever since Isiah K. Scott was murdered in March. Right, his mother and grandmother speak to reporters about Scott’s murder. | Shanel Romain
“Isiah’s life was lost because we are a country in love with guns and guns are how we handle our arguments,” said Pfleger. “We’ve got to deal with the gun issue.
“Secondly, too many people who are witnesses don’t want to be labeled as a snitch,” he said. “The greatest deterrent to violence is catching people who do it and locking them up.”
Phyllis Duncan, the founder of Mothers of Murdered Sons, a Proviso Township support group for parents who have lost children to gun violence, said that she would like more people to be mandatory reporters.
“Those are people who care enough to report any murders, abuse and whatever other crime that happens to anyone in their community or their neighborhood,” said Duncan, who helped Stansberry organize Tuesday’s gathering. “I would like to ask all the parents to stop harboring your children!”
Phyllis Duncan, far right, helped organize Tuesday’s gathering, which was also attended by members of Scott’s Maywood church. | Shanel Romain
Betty Young, Scott’s grandmother, said that she grew up in Maywood, just around the corner from where her first grandchild was murdered.
“It’s so hard for me to pass down this street or to go down Roosevelt Road to go to work in the morning, because I have to pass the cemetery,” she said. “Everyday I take a longer route to work.”
But Young — who was surrounded by members of Second Baptist Church, where Isiah was baptized and where his family attends — said that her fight is larger than her grandson.
“I’m not only here for Isiah, I’m here for everybody who has been harmed by these senseless killings,” Young said. “We need to come together as a church, as schools, as parents. Everybody needs to come in and get involved in what’s going on.”
Anyone with information about Scott’s murder should call the Maywood Police Department at (708) 450-4470 or Saint Sabina Church at (773) 483-4300. VFP
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